Overstock Bitcoins up 6 months early (Forbes: locking 40 people in a room), has explosive start, makes it to China News and translation, Makes it to a very positive Zerohedge!
updated china news has it too ( bottom)
updated with businessinsider: OVERSTOCK CEO: Amazon Will Be Forced To Start Accepting Bitcoin
updated with zerohedge
“This is absolutely huge news and any retail CEO worth their salt will immediately begin to look into Bitcoin adoption.
I hope financial publications that missed the biggest financial story of 2013 continue to mock it with covers of unicorns and waterfalls. It’s the most bullish thing I can imagine.”
If you’re wondering about the unicorns and waterfalls, its this bloomberg unicorn, although I dare say unicorns first appeared with bitcoins here.
Patrick expected more video cards, most sold: sheets, mobile phone cases, flash drives, bath towels (didn’t know they sold video cards lol)
Reddit discussion: http://www.reddit.com/r/Bitcoin/comments/1uxrdp/overstock_discussion_on_cnn/
Overstock had announced its integrated Bitcoin facility, 6 months ahead of schedule. (Overstock had announced its intention to take bitcoins last year) This will probably be the biggest bitcoin hit to open the year with. Going places, moving boxes.
Turns out they locked 40 people in a room and got it down within a week
They’ve made $10,000 usd in the first two hours and $126,000 in the first day (sales)
Overstock Bitcoin on Forbes:
Bitcoin Comes To Overstock After CEO Locks 40 People In A Room For A Week
Last month, Overstock.com, which sells everything from jewelry to couches, announced that it would start accepting Bitcoin by the middle of 2014. CEO Patrick Byrne, 51, said the low-priced site was looking forward to cutting down on transaction fees for purchases given that its net margin is just 2%. The site took the Internet by surprise Thursday by moving its Bitcoin deadline up radically: it’s accepting Bitcoin as of today.
“Our first purchase with Bitcoin was a $2700 patio set,” says Byrne from Salt Lake City, where the company is based. In the first 90 minutes of Bitcoin sales, the site had received about 150 orders. Byrne says the company’s rough estimate is that 1% of its sales in 2014, or approximately $13 million, will come in the form of Bitcoin. “It’s a wild guess,” he says. Update (Jan. 10): Byrne tweets that Overstock pulled in 780 Bitcoin sales worth $127,000 in 21 hours.
Byrne, who launched Overstock in 1999 to sell surplus and returned merchandise, has been following Bitcoin for over a year. As a dogged libertarian who fell in love with computation theory while studying philosophy at Stanford, Bitcoin “was like my dream come true.” He was initially worried about Bitcoin being in a legal grey zone, but was reassured by the Senate hearings in November.
“When I was saying we’d be accepting Bitcoin within 6 months, I thought that would be it,” he says. But Bitcoin money processors began approaching the company, wanting to partner with it and telling the company it could get Bitcoin going sooner. Coinbase beat out its competitors by promising to fly talent to Salt Lake City to help Overstock get their payment platform up and running. Coinbase takes the Bitcoin and pays out Overstock the USD equivalent. Afraid that he had tipped his hand by telling the press about the company’s Bitcoin plans, Byrne decided to make it happen as soon as possible.
“On January 1st, our people said they could do it within 10 days if I gave them enough people,” says Byrne. “So we put a team of 40 people on it. We locked them in a room and slid pizzas under the door, and gave them hotel rooms when they needed them. The technique of swarming to form a team was incredibly efficient.”
The team was mainly engineers, but also included “customer care, graphic artists, a lawyer, the tax man, and our returns guy,” says Byrne. They knocked it out in less than 10 days.
(As for returns, the company won’t initially be sending people Bitcoin or dollars when they send an item back; instead they’ll get in-store credit. “Later, we’ll send dollars or Bitcoin back,” says Byrne.)
“There’s clearly a huge community of people who support this. Our customer service lines are going nuts with people who appreciate this,” says Byrne. “The PR wasn’t the driving force here. I think there will be a few day lift from that. For us, the benefits are that we save on the transaction fee and we get to access that community. The community doesn’t have to keep their wealth and savings in financial institutions they don’t trust that might melt down.”
In First Day With Bitcoin, Overstock Does $126,000 in Sales
- By Cade Metz
- 2:07 PM
ess than 30 minutes after online retailer Overstock.com started accepting payments in bitcoin, Jason Steele used the digital currency to buy a new case for his smartphone.
Steele — a 32-year-old computer programmer from Atlanta who has been using bitcoin since March of last year — wanted to see if Overstock’s new system actually worked, but he was also interested in, well, fighting the good fight. Overstock is the first major online retailer to accept the digital currency, and Steele was doing his part to help push this new-age technology even further into the mainstream, so that it becomes a viable alternative to fiat currencies like the dollar and the euro and the yen.
“It’s a concept that could take off, and should take off, for a lot of reasons,” he says. “I want wider adoption. I want more businesses to use it.”
‘It’s a concept that could take off, and should take off, for a lot of reasons. I want wider adoption. I want more businesses to use it’
Steele is not alone. In its first 22 hours accepting the digital currency, Overstock tells us, it accepted 800 orders in bitcoin, and they were worth a total of about $126,000. The company nabbed $5,000 in bitcoin orders in the first 30 minutes alone, and about $10,000 in the first two hours. That’s not an enormous haul, but judging from the company’s yearly revenue, it could be as much as 4 percent of its average daily sales, and it shows there’s a vibrant bitcoin community that’s interested not only in using the digital currency as an investment, but in actually spending it. That will be crucial to the future of this still very young technology.
Certainly, some just wanted to try out the new Overstock system. Others wanted to show the company how pleased they were that it had made the move. But all were uploading real funds, and many are interested in regularly spending their bitcoins, not just hoarding them in the hopes that their value with continue to rise.
Ben Doernberg, a 24-year from New York City, bought a screen protector for his cell phone just after Overstock flipped the bitcoin switch. “I wanted to express my appreciation to them for stepping up,” he says. “[And] I thought I might be the first one to buy from them, which would be cool.” But he aims to spend his bitcoin more often, having invested in the digital currency since May of last year.
“So far I have not regularly bought stuff with bitcoin, although I am beginning to change that behavior,” he says. “The increasing price of bitcoin is definitely an obstacle to purchasing bitcoin, but a temporary one.” As he points out, more merchants will have to follow Overstock’s lead in order for people like him to become regular spenders, but that’s already happening.
The bitcoin system is operated by a network of computers that spans the globe, and no central authority has the power to control it. It’s a currency — and a means of easily exchanging money over the net — that’s controlled by the people. After the value of a bitcoin topped $1,000 on popular online exchanges this fall, the digital currency has attracted a huge amount of interest, not only among individuals but businesses.
Coinbase, the San Francisco startup that processes Overstock’s bitcoin transactions, says it is also serving 19,000 other businesses, and another went live today: eZanga, a Delware outfit that helps people and companies place ads across the internet. eZanga is not only accepting payments from advertisers in bitcoin, it’s using the digital currency to pay the sites where it places ads.
“We have publishers all over the world who can do this,” says eZanga CEO Rich Kahn. “It’s an easier medium they can use to get payments faster.” Part of the strength of bitcoin is that lets anyone move money across borders without paying expensive credit card or wire transfer or currency exchange fees. That’s one of the reasons Jason Steele is high on bitcoin. It will make it easier and cheaper for him to travel overseas.
Overstock declined to tell us how its first day of bitcoin purchases compared to its overall daily take. But the point is a healthy number of people are well and truly behind the digital currency. One customer even bought a $2,700, 13-piece set of patio furniture. That’s not an empty statement. And neither was that phone-case purchase from Jason Steele. Late last night, he went back to Overstock and bought a chair with bitcoin too.
Cade Metz is the editor of Wired Enterprise. Got a NEWS TIP related to this story — or to anything else in the world of big tech? Please e-mail him: cade_metz at wired.com.
Follow @cademetz on Twitter.
Will Amazon be next? Time to wait. (Newegg is rumored to be considering bitcoins, “it’s a possibility, stay tuned :)”: https://twitter.com/Newegg/status/404299166261981184)
That will be pretty much the trinity: http://www.forbes.com/sites/ryanmac/2013/06/19/geek-favorite-electronics-retailer-newegg-hatches-new-billionaire-on-rising-sales/
Would newegg taking bitcoin (if it does) force Amazon’s hand?
Reddit and comments
And by avoiding credit card fees, we can estimate that Overstock has increased PROFIT by 8.6%.
My memory is hazy, but I recall an interview where CEO Patrick Byrne said his profit margin was around 3-4%, of which 2-3% is eaten by credit card fees. (Anyone know the source?) Given that coinbase charges 0% (for a merchant’s first $1,000,000), then Overstock gets roughly double the profit for bitcoin transactions. That means a revenue increase of 4.3% becomes an 8.6% profit increase!
Overstock.com unexpectedly announced today they had begun accepting Bitcoin.
CEO Patrick Byrne had told us and others the launch wouldn’t come for another few months.
Byrne now tells us that last week, they decided to reach out to Coinbase.com, one of the largest Bitcoin payment processors. They said that with a dedicated team at Overstock they would be able to launch within a week. And they did.
“They actually came back with a plan on the evening of New Year’s Day on how get live in a week, we’ve had 40 people from diff parts of company, [on the project], including customer service agents.”
About $10,000 worth of Bitcoin from about 100 purchasers has already been spent since the announcement less than two hours ago, Byrne said. Online Bitcoin chatter indicates much of it is from folks making purchases in tribute to the company’s vote of confidence in the digital currency.
The most expensive item yet purchased? This handsome 13-piece patio set from Amazonia.
Overstock news appeared on the hao123 bitcoin portal, with newhua being the news to cover
(it appears to have been translated from the business insider, but I tried translating again just for kicks)
E-commerce site Overstock announces bitcoin support
牛华网讯 北京时间1月10日消息，网购网站Overstock.com今天宣布开始接受比特币交易。此前CEO帕特里克·伯恩（Patrick Byrne）曾数次对外宣称，短期内这一服务不会上线。
Beijing time 10 Jan, E-commerce site Overstock has announced today that they accept Bitcoins. Previously, Patrick Byrne had publicly expressed that this would take a while.
In accepting interviews, Patrick revealed that they had liaised with Coinbase last week, and managed to create a new system in a week. This was with the help of 40 people.
With the bitcoin launch, 10,000 USD of revenue was made in two hours.
Overstock’s how to guide
plus they try to explain bitcoin
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is the first form of decentralized (meaning it is not controlled by any organization or government) digital currency that can be exchanged from peer to peer for goods and services. Bitcoins are designed around the idea of using cryptography to control the creation and transfer of money, rather than relying on central authorities.
There is a limited number of Bitcoins in circulation and new Bitcoins are created at a predictable and decreasing rate. A fixed number of Bitcoins means they are a commodity whose worth is determined by supply and demand (similar to stocks).
How do you get a Bitcoin?
Bitcoins are “mined” through a process where specialized computers search algorithms to solve difficult mathematical problems. Every time they find a solution, a Bitcoin is generated.
You can earn Bitcoin through “mining,” accepting them as payment for goods or services, or purchasing them at a Bitcoin exchange.
What are the benefits of Bitcoin?
These are just a few benefits Bitcoin offers over traditional payment options:
- Ability to send and receive any amount of money instantly, anywhere, and at any time.
- Full control of your money. Bitcoin can be managed directly from your Bitcoin wallet.
- Full control of transactions. With Bitcoin, you control all your transactions. No one can process unwanted or unnoticed charges.
- Secure transactions. You are not required to provide sensitive or personal information with Bitcoin.
What is a Bitcoin Wallet?
A Bitcoin wallet is a digital wallet that stores your Bitcoin balance. A Bitcoin wallet contains your public address and private key, allowing you to buy, sell, exchange, and trade Bitcoins online and offline. Bitcoin.org describes a wallet like an email account: it stores information (Bitcoin) and allows you to send and receive information.
Is Bitcoin Secure?
Bitcoins have not yet been compromised. Bitcoin has a dedicated team improving security and safety for users. According to Bitcoin.org, It is not possible to create Bitcoin without mining, spend Bitcoin that belong to other users, or corrupt the network. For more information, please visit the Bitcoin FAQ.
What is Coinbase?
Coinbase, a Bitcoin wallet, is the world’s largest platform for buying and selling Bitcoin for US dollars at the current market rate. The Coinbase online wallet offers a place to securely store your Bitcoin and send/ receive Bitcoin with minimal to no fees. Coinbase is known as the “easiest on-ramp to the Bitcoin world.”
I’d like to learn more. Where can I find more information?
Overstock.com Becomes First Major Retailer to Accept Bitcoins
Online retail giant Overstock.com has moved forward its plan to take bitcoin payments. The company began taking the digital currency on its site this morning.
About $10,000 worth of bitcoins from about 100 customers has reportedly already been spent since Overstock made the announcement just a couple of hours ago.
The firm has chosen California-based online wallet and payment processing firm Coinbase to handle its transactions, in what must surely be a major coup for the company, which posted the following on its blog:
“This marks the largest retail Bitcoin implementation to date. For the first time ever, customers can purchase a wide selection of goods with bitcoins — from electronics to home accessories — from a trusted, branded vendor. We’re excited to serve as Overstock.com’s official digital wallet to facilitate all related transactions on their site.”
Less than three weeks ago, CEO Patrick Byrne told CoinDesk that the firm would begin taking bitcoin payments in June or July, and at the time had not signed a payment processor. However, things accelerated after Byrne broke the news, he said.
“I felt I had tipped my hand. I didn’t want someone else to beat us,” Byrne told tech publication Wired.
The deal with Coinbase also provides some clarity on how Overstock will manage its exposure when dealing with a notoriously volatile financial instrument, which acts more like a commodity than a currency at present. In December, Byrne said that some hedging might be necessary if the firm decided to hold a position in bitcoin. However, Coinbase immediately converts bitcoins that it processes into dollars, meaning that Overstock will never hold any of the digital currency.
Byrne had not developed a clear projection for the amount of business that it would conduct in bitcoin, but when pressed, he said that 1% was a reasonable figure. Coinbase currently serves around 17,000 merchants with its payment processing business. Aside from using algorithmic trading to manage its own bitcoin exposure and shield retailers from volatility, one of its other unique selling propositions is ease-of-use.
The company has created a system which interacts with the block chain, but which also provides additional benefits to those operating exclusively within its own network. It enables holders of bitcoins in Coinbase-based wallets to send bitcoins to each other using email addresses, for example. It also enables US-based users to purchase bitcoins directly from it. This is something that pure payment processing companies like BitPay do not offer.
Coinbase is also considerably more advanced in its funding than other bitcoin companies, having completed a $25m B round last month from Andreessen Horowitz. This bought the total amount raised by the company to $31.9m. This cash may help the company to deal with any state-level regulatory challenges that it faces in the future with its bitcoin sales service.
Overstock’s growth story
Launched in 1999 from the ruins of bankrupt D2: Discount Direct, Utah-based Overstock began by selling purely surplus and returned merchandise via its e-commerce marketplace. Ironically given its beginnings, Byrne built the firm initially on liquidating inventory from dying dot com firms, during the technology industry recession.
The firm, which went public in 2002, has since moved into new merchandise. It offers a mixture of direct retail sales and online auctions, and also operates an affiliate program. Although it looks like a single supplier, its products come from dropship suppliers all over the country. Its 2012 revenues were $1.09bn and it lists almost a million products on its site.
Overstock’s low pricing model, which includes cheap shipping for customers, relies on thin margins, making payment processing fees a particular burden. Bitcoin-based sales will not be entirely free, as Coinbase charges a transaction fee, but it will be cheaper than the credit card payment process which will still dominate the firm’s business.
Byrne said last month that cost reduction was only one of the drivers for accepting bitcoin. The other was grounded in ideology, as he felt that bitcoin was a “pro-freedom” currency, with the potential to become immune to political influence.
Overstock’s share price rebounded slightly on the news of bitcoin acceptance, but was still off from early trading this morning, following news that it would be fined $6.8m by a California judge for allegedly misleading price comparisons on its website. That case was brought by the state of California in 2010.
tech sina: amazon will eventually take bitcoins
比特币在美国吃香 (bitcoins popular in USA)