Overstock.com Becomes Largest U.S. Retailer to Accept Bitcoin

The beginning of the mainstream for digital currency.

, Law Technology News

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Coins in a jar.
Coins in a jar.

If you want some cheap linens or towels, you can’t pay in Club Med beads, but you can pay in Bitcoin. Overstock.com just became the largest U.S. retailer to accept the futuristic currency, according to a post by Jacob Farber on Perkins Coie’s Virtual Currency Report. “Overstock.com struck a deal with Coinbase for the processing of Bitcoin payments last Tuesday and has been working around the clock since to prepare to go live,” he says.

But while there is a new Bitcoin story every day, Farber says this is different. “If all goes well for Overstock.com’s foray into Bitcoin, other major online and physical retailers who have been waiting in the wings are likely to follow suit,” he says, calling Overstock.com the canary in the coalmine. The use of Bitcoin in online transactions allows both parties to avoid expensive transaction fees incurred when using credit cards. And even if “a handful of major retailers embrace Bitcoin in order to bring down their transaction costs, it will almost certainly trigger a significant expansion in the Bitcoin user base,” he says.

From the Silk Road to silks, Bitcoin is becoming more mainstream daily. But Farber says it still has a long road to broad U.S. consumer adoption, including practicalities on how people will actually acquire Bitcoins as well as its volatility.

Attorney Marlisse Silver Sweeney is a freelance writer based in Vancouver. MarlisseSilverSweeney@gmail.com. Twitter: @MarlisseSS. LTN: @lawtechnews.

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