Online retailer Overstock.com said Tuesday that purchases made with bitcoin have topped $1 million since the company introduced the payment option a little less than two months ago.
Overstock registered $1.3 billion in revenue in 2013, so the bitcoin sales total is currently a drop in the bucket. But crossing the $1 million threshold shows that there is at least some demand among a subset of shoppers to pay for goods using the digital currency. More than 4,000 customers have used bitcoin as a payment method, and more than half of the orders came from new Overstock customers.
Overstock is one of the only big-name merchants to accept bitcoin as a form of payment, making it likely that the e-tailer is reaping benefits from the novelty of its new payment feature. Still, CEO Patrick Byrne told The Wall Street Journal he expects sales made in bitcoin to total between $10 million and $15 million this year.
One benefit of accepting bitcoin is that bitcoin payment processors typically charge significantly less than traditional payment processors do for credit card purchases as a result of credit card company interchange fees. Overstock works with Andreessen Horowitz-backed Coinbase to process bitcoin transactions.
At the same time, it’s not clear whether adoption by other businesses — which is still small, but growing — will be hurt by the recent bankruptcy filing of one of the largest bitcoin exchanges, Mt. Gox. The price of bitcoin is up about 34 percent, to $671, since news of Mt. Gox’s demise started to spread last Monday night.