Overstock.com has sold more than $1 million in products to Bitcoin owners over the past two months despite the virtual currency operating on some fairly shaky ground.
The Salt Lake City online retailer said the purchases were made by 4,300 customers of which 60 percent are estimated to be new to the site.
Consider the announcement a small reprieve for bitcoin, which has been hit by wild currency fluctuations and multiple online attacks.
Also today, another bitcoin bank says it is shutting down after hackers stole 896 bitcoin (or roughly $610,000), reports The Guardian. And, before that, U.S. regulators were forced to ask what their responsibility is in managing the up-start currency after a bitcoin exchange lost nearly a half-billion dollars.
Overstock’s announcement of the milestone overlooks these problems. In fact, Overstock.com Chairman and CEO Patrick Byrne is quick to sing its praises, saying he admires Bitcoin because it does not answer to a central authority and is similar to gold in that its supply is constrained.
“We did not expect to hit this milestone so quickly,” he said. “Bitcoin customers are good customers, and we’re pleased to provide them this service.”
And, maybe Overstock, which claims to be the first major retailer to accept bitcoins, is just giving the currency’s owners an easy way to cash out before the going gets tougher. In terms of ways to do so, it’s a fast and easy option, especially if you need some discounted lawn furniture for spring, or a new pair of sunglasses.
The company has partnered with San Francisco-based Coinbase.com to process the payments and handle the conversion of Bitcoin into U.S. dollars.
Coinbase is one of a few in the business with real venture backing. The company received $25 million from Andreessen Horowitz in December.
Previously on GeekWire: Overstock CEO predicts Amazon will start taking Bitcoin, too