Overstock.com recently announced that it has done more than $1 million in Bitcoin sales since the company started offering customers the ability to use the digital currency to purchase items. But how does that affect the company’s day to day operations?
According to Patrick Byrne, Overstock’s CEO, the company is seeing tens of thousands of dollars in Bitcoin sales every day.
“There was a huge surge (in Bitcoin spending) the first day, with people showing support. It’s since dropped to $20k to $30k per day, but it’s gradually increasing from there. It’s going well,” he told Business Insider.
Through a partnership with Coinbase, Overstock immediately turns all of the Bitcoins it receives into dollars, so the company isn’t holding any of the currency long-term.
According to Byrne, retailers gain a number of advantages from using Bitcoin. Because transactions through Bitcoin are irreversible, there’s no way for a customer to request a chargeback, which means that it’s difficult to commit fraud. The currency also doesn’t require the high transaction fees that are standard for credit card companies.
Byrne has predicted that the Bitcoin market will grow so much that Amazon will have no choice but to start accepting the cryptocurrency, and if its daily sales numbers keep growing, that may be the case. But one of the advantages Overstock has right now is that it’s the only major e-retailer to offer a Bitcoin purchase option. If someone with Bitcoin wants to buy a product online, there’s a good chance they’ll turn to Overstock.
If Amazon enters the market with its own Bitcoin offering, it’s not clear what each company’s cut of the Bitcoin revenue stream would be. Given how fluid Bitcoin’s price is right now, allowing transactions in the cryptocurrency may not be worth the hassle just yet. After all, $30,000 is a lot of cash, but it’s a drop in the bucket for a company that pulls in millions of dollars a day.