So last week, (and possibly the week before) I guess the phones weren’t working. We were told that people who were trying to call couldn’t get through. Talk about a disappointment! I was really hoping to take on some dissenting views last week and instead, just made it sound like no one listens! GAH!
Anyway, we’ll try to make sure the phones are working this time but if you can’t call, please tweet us @edandethan either with questions or to let us know the phones are down and we’ll try to get things back on track.
If you have any questions for Mr Byrne or Mr Tucker and you’ll be unable to call in, feel free to post here and I’ll try to make sure your questions are included in my show notes.
Listen live at www.letstalkbitcoin.com/live/
Edit: clarification. Mr Byrne will be with us in the first half and Mr Tucker will be with us in the second.
Hope you enjoy the show!
Overstock CEO expects bitcoin derivatives
NEW YORK (TheStreet) – Overstock.com (OSTK_) CEO Patrick Byrne expects that over time, there will be a derivatives market for Bitcoin so commercial end-users such as retailers can hedge their risk. Byrne also said he expects Amazon (AMZN_) to eventually accept Bitcoin.
As adoption and the market for Bitcoin transactions deepens, Byrne expects retailers like Overstock may be able to insulate themselves from exchange risks of the volatile currency. He expects that there will eventually be a derivatives market for commercial-end users so they can hedge their price risk.
For now, Overstock has avoided many of the issues plaguing the virtual currency given its partnership with Coinbase.
In an interview with TheStreet on Tuesday, Byrne said Bitcoin will become too big of a market for Amazon to cede entirely to competitors such as Overstock.com. Byrne also said that after announcing $1 million in Bitcoin sales, he now forecasts that Overstock will process up to $15 million in Bitcoin transactions this year.
“Overstock.com has been unaffected by the events affecting Bitcoin exchanges lately. We hold no Bitcoin so we’re insulated from those matters. Numbers of Bitcoin transactions on our site have remained constant throughout,” a spokesperson said in an e-mail.
Byrne also acknowledged that transacting in Bitcoin is good press, another reason why he expects competitors like Amazon to eventually accept the virtual currency. Less than 1% of Overstock’s sales have been in Bitcoin since the company began accepting the currency. Still, it has driven new customers to Overstock.
“Of the over 4,300 Bitcoin customers that made purchases since then, Overstock.com estimates almost 60 percent to be new customers,” the company said in a Tuesday press release.
Overstock.com shares have fallen nearly 30% year-to-date after the company reported weaker-than-expected fourth quarter results in late January.
It has been less than two months since e-commerce giant Overstock.com began accepting bitcoin payments on their website, and the online retailer has already surpassed $1m in total sales.
Byrne spoke with CoinDesk about its $1m milestone, asserting that while the initial surge of bitcoin sales did subside, there has since been steady growth in bitcoin payments:
“In the first day there was an enormous surge of bitcoin sales, but we’ve also seen a gradual building of bitcoin sales in a week-by-week basis.”
The initial projections for sales processed with bitcoin on Overstock.com this year was set at $3-5m, but this figure has since increased dramatically, according to Byrne.
The CEO now predicts that Overstock will see a total of $10-15m in bitcoin sales this year, and suggested that this number could reach as high as $20m if bitcoin sales maintain their current growth rate.
The findings show that customers who use bitcoin as a payment method spend on average $58 (34%) more on their orders than customers using credit cards.
Byrne says that Overstock has reaped the benefits of accepting bitcoin as a payment method, most notably in regards to eliminating chargeback fraud from credit card payments and reducing payment processing fees:
“Bitcoin payments have helped us avoid fraud in the form of chargebacks with credit cards, and we’re also able to get paid faster than when payments are processed with credit cards.
It takes three days for payments to finalize with credit cards, and with bitcoin we can get paid immediately.”
“I’ve seen the bitcoin community really embrace Overstock and I’ve read about many cases of our customers coming over from Amazon specifically to shop using bitcoin.
I think that bitcoin payments will account for several percent of all online transactions in the next year or two, and when this happens, Amazon will be forced to start accepting bitcoin on their website.”
With the amount of sales being processed with bitcoin steadily growing on Overstock, Byrne noted that the company has recently changed its business model and will start to hold “5-10% of [their] processed bitcoins in reserves.”
Overstock.com now expects bitcoin sales to reach $10 million to $15 million this year, up from the $5 million that had been expected, Mr. Byrne said in an interview.
His comments came after the company earlier Tuesday said bitcoin-paying customers have bought more than $1 million worth of goods since Jan. 9.
Mr. Byrne also said customers who pay with bitcoin are spending more, with average orders of $230 compared with $150 for typical orders.
[–]slam20 13 points ago
Byrne is a pioneer by leading the way for corporate America into bitcoin. This guy risked his career, job, connection, and even freedom by accepting and reporting his financial picture.
[–]Atheose 12 points ago
To those who don’t think this is significant: even if that $10-15 million isn’t new revenue (meaning they would have already purchased from Overstock with other currency), think about the 2-3% credit card transaction fees that Overstock is avoiding. That’s an additional $100,000-150,000 profit.
Shareholders certainly think it’s a big deal: Overstock’s stock price (OSTK) is up 10% today on the news.
This kind of news is what’s going to get other retailers to start adopting Bitcoin as a payment option.
[–]Timbo925 2 points ago
Very good point indeed. This might be the reason buisnesses might start pushing buying with bitcoin. It will give them a extra profit boost by not giving it to the credit card companys.
Mr. Byrne also said that customers who pay with bitcoins are mostly men and are spending more than others, with average orders of $230 compared with $150 for typical orders. Of the more than 4,300 customers who have paid with bitcoins, Overstock estimates almost 60% are new customers.
Among the most popular items that customers are buying with bitcoins are sheets, cellphone cases, headphones, socks and computer products, according to a list provided by the company.