Overstock has announced that it now accepts Bitcoin as a form of payment on its online shopping site.
When customers shop the website they will find the digital currency listed as a payment choice along with Visa, MasterCard and PayPal.
"This is historic. Digital currency will be an important part of the future and Overstock is excited to be the first major online shopping retailer to accept it," said chairman and CEO Patrick M. Byrne. "As one who believes in limited government, this attracts me because it is a form of money that no government mandarin can will it into existence."
Byrne noted that Bitcoin is the world's most widely used cryptocurrency. The Bitcoin peer-to-peer network is made up of thousands of computers run by individuals around the world and doesn't answer to a central authority. It is similar to gold in that its supply is constrained mathematically to up to 21 million units that will grow in a predictable manner.
"Bitcoin is well suited for online transactions. It has no transaction fees and works well for international customers. Providing this convenience for the cult-following Bitcoin customer is the smart thing to do," added Byrne. "Other online companies will have to follow suit soon."
Overstock.com is partnering with Coinbase.com out of San Francisco, Calif., to process the payments and to handle the conversion of Bitcoin into U.S. dollars.