A couple of weeks after Overstock.com’s Patrick Byrne revealed that the company would begin accepting bitcoins internationally, it is now being reported that the website will allow customers from outside of the United States to pay with bitcoins starting Sept. 1.
The New York Times reported that the bitcoin payments will be accepted on Overstock’s international website, O.co. Byrne told the newspaper that he feels the bitcoin community wants to continually shop on Overstock and hopes that can translate to overseas as well.
“I know that’s it’s become part of the Bitcoin lore in the United States to shop on Overstock… My hope is that would happen at a global level,” Byrne said.
Overstock.com became one of the biggest online retailers to introduce a bitcoin payments system earlier this year. The company has announced major earnings since incorporating the peer-to-peer decentralized digital currency into its business model – it plans to generate between $6 and $8 million worth of bitcoin sales this year in addition to $2 million from international customers.
Despite the fact that tens of thousands of smaller merchants around the world are accepting digital currency, experts say it’s the larger corporations turning to bitcoin that could help the cryptocurrency reach greater adoption internationally. A number of well-known brands have already adopted bitcoin, including Dell, the Sacramento Kings, Expedia, the Dish Network and Overegg.
Most U.S.-based businesses have tested out the domestic market first before expanding its bitcoin functions worldwide.
“If you’re a big retailer, and you’re trying to embrace a new technology, you’re going to want to be able to do it gradually,” said Gil Luria, an analyst with Wedbush Securities, in an interview with the newspaper.
Since Overstock is saving a lot of money on transaction costs, the company decided to allocate four percent of its bitcoin sales to several organizations and foundations that assist and support the virtual currency. In the future, Byrne wants to pass on its savings to the consumers in the form of lower prices.
“Bitcoin saves us so much money that we want to help the community,” he added.
As each day passes, more and more merchants, retailers and companies are instituting bitcoin and other digital currencies into their business plans. From owners of Subway restaurants to convenience stores, bitcoin can be found in nearly every single facet of the business world. Whether or not this translates into long-term success for the industry remains to be seen, but 2014 has been the year of the bitcoin.
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