While Bitcoin's use by U.S. retailers is controversial, two new developments signal the virtual currency's future success.
Overstock.com (NASDAQ:OSTK), the first major online shopping site to accept bitcoins, said this week that it has sold over $1 million in product to Bitcoin users since the online shopping site started accepting the currency in January.
Of the more than 4,300 Bitcoin customers who made purchases, Overstock.com estimates almost 60 percent to be new customers. These figures are likely to make other large online retailers consider accepting bitcoins.
In addition, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) said June 3 that software developers could include virtual currency transactions in their applications. While Apple executives didn't mention Bitcoin specifically, its developer terms now allow for certain "approved virtual currencies."
"The change signals that Apple is warming up to virtual currencies after previously blocking programs like Blockchain.info from its App Store," PaymentsSource reported via Bloomberg News.
Meanwhile, executives at Overstock.com were surprised that the virtual currency has been so popular. "We did not expect to hit this milestone so quickly," states Overstock.com Chairman and CEO Patrick M. Byrne. "Bitcoin customers are good customers, and we're pleased to provide them this service."
Besides the "obvious business advantages" of accepting bitcoin, Byrne admires the currency because it does not answer to a central authority and is similar to gold in that its supply is constrained, he said in the statement.
Amazon expands virtual 'Coins' across more platforms
Yelp adds bitcoin identifier
Square furthers Bitcoin retail adoption
Lord & Taylor adds Bitcoin mobile payment option
Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox disappears and takes $300 million with it