Overstock.com (NASDAQ:OSTK) will now accept Bitcoin payments from its international customers.
In January Overstock became one of the first major online shopping sites to accept the virtual currency from customers in the United States. Now, after a checkout upgrade, international Overstock customers can also pay with Bitcoin.
"Bitcoin has been readily adopted in countries outside the United States, yet the opportunities to spend Bitcoin internationally are extremely limited," said Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne. "We're pleased to offer this service to the millions of Bitcoin users in other countries and believe they will respond enthusiastically. With this move, Bitcoin has indeed become a borderless currency that permits its holders to buy and take delivery of millions of products."
Customers anywhere can pick from nearly 2 million products, ranging from jewelry to furniture. Anyone can log on and purchase, although Overstock does not have the ability to deliver to every country.
"As long as you can get on the Internet, you can order and pay in Bitcoin," Byrne told Wired. "You can order in North Korea if you want—as long as you're having things delivered to, say, Singapore."
Other companies such as Newegg and TigerDirect already accept Bitcoin in the United States and Canada.
Byrne believes that virtual currency can help both consumers and retailers save money, especially when it comes to international purchases, reported Wired. Byrne said accepting credit card payments from foreign countries can result in steep third-party processing fees. While Overstock still pays Coinbase to handle transactions, Byrne said the fees are lower.
To date, about $12,000 to $15,000 in daily Overstock sales are conducted with Bitcoin. However, Byrne said opening the international gates could mean a total of $8 million in Bitcoin sales by the end of the year.
Byrne is not the only executive throwing his weight behind the virtual payment. eBay's (NASDAQ: EBAY) CEO John Donahoe recently spoke about the importance of digital currency as it pertains to companies like PayPal, the e-commerce giant's Internet payment platform.
A few months back, BitPay began offering free basic payment processing to retailers—for life. The goal was to get more retailers to offer customers the option to make purchases using the virtual payment.
-See this Overstock press release
-See this Wired article
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