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Bitcoin Payments Go Live At Overstock — Two Quarters Early

Unknown Lamer posted about 8 months ago | from the will-trade-bitcoin-for-socks dept.

Bitcoin 182

New submitter citab writes with news that "the first major retailer is now accepting bitcoins!" In December, Overstock.com announced that they would begin accepting Bitcoin for payment as early as the end of second quarter 2014, but decided to make it a priority task to avoid having someone else beat them to it. From the article: "Last Tuesday, the company struck a deal to handle Bitcoin payments through a service operated by the suddenly hot San Francisco startup Coinbase, and since then, a team of Overstock engineers has worked almost every waking hour to prepare the site for what is undeniably a key moment in the digital currency’s short history. ... [Overstock CEO] Byrne believes this can ultimately boost the company’s bottom line, but that’s not his only aim. For Byrne, a rather opinionated libertarian who’s unafraid to take his company places others fear to tread, embracing the cryptocurrency is as much a political statement as a business decision. Like so many others, he believes Bitcoin can free the world from the control of big banks and big government. 'It helps us fight the machine,' he says."

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First major retailer to accept Bitcoin (5, Funny)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | about 8 months ago | (#45911271)

was Silkroad.

Re:First major retailer to accept Bitcoin (4, Interesting)

mythosaz (572040) | about 8 months ago | (#45911401)

Can anyone explain why this is marked Funny and not Informative?

It was BTC's "dirty little secret" that as long as you could buy drugs with it, it had value. Losing SR caused panic on the BTC market for exactly that reason.

Re:First major retailer to accept Bitcoin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45911431)

Yes and no. Although what you said is not wrong, I think much of it was due to uncertainty. Bitcoin prided itself in being secure; whether from taking it away, or just being anonymous in your transactions. Even though the FBI didn't "break" bitcoins in that way, it sure did cause a lot of people to worry that they, too, could lose their wallets much like Dread Pirate Roberts.

Re:First major retailer to accept Bitcoin (4, Insightful)

mythosaz (572040) | about 8 months ago | (#45911509)

Quibble: The owners of BTC wallets are anonymous; not the transactions.

But sure, there were some other confidence scares with the bust -- not just the loss of SR itself.

...if anyone asked me what you could do with BTC, I pretty much said, "Well, you can rent some server space, donate to the EFF or buy some party drugs."

Re:First major retailer to accept Bitcoin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45911467)

It had value before the SR, it has value after. SR just increased velocity.

Re:First major retailer to accept Bitcoin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45911617)

Can anyone explain why this is marked Funny and not Informative?

It's funny because SR was really the only market where BTC actually had value as a medium of exchange - ie, the trade of actual goods and services. It's informative for the same reason.

I'll accept BTC as a real currency once we start seeing credible numbers that people are actually using it to buy stuff besides alpaca socks, web services, drugs and assassinations.

Let overstock.com and the others report their sales in BTC so we all can see if BTC is legitimate or not. Until then, there's no evidence that it's anything more than a speculative (zero sum) plaything for nerds.

Re:First major retailer to accept Bitcoin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45911937)

How can it be a zero sum game? The bitcoin network has obviously created wealth in the world.

What does it matter that Overstock is immediately converting bitcoins to USD? That still means that bitcoins are being used as a... wait for it... medium of exchange.

You do realize that people speculate in other currencies, too, right?

Loud-mouthed fool.

Re:First major retailer to accept Bitcoin (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45912185)

What does it matter that Overstock is immediately converting bitcoins to USD?

Selling coins reduces the liquidity of the exchanges, purchasing coins increases it.
If a large retailer starts selling a lot of coins but people don't begin buying coins at the same rate, the value of the coin itself drops. They don't have the option in the US (or most countries) to pay their workers in bitcoin, because we made it illegal to use Scrip for paying workers due to the horrible abuses it allowed. And for the most part they don't have the option to use the coin to purchase more inventory because most suppliers still aren't accepting it as payment.

There really isn't any good reason for people to rush out and buy bitcoin just so they can buy stuff on Overstock. So the only people who will actually DO that are people who already have coin in their wallet, or people who are intentionally trying to increase the popularity of the currency.

The bitcoin network has obviously created wealth in the world.

Lol, no it hasn't. All it's done is shift wealth around, there is no inherent value to the coin itself.

People who are getting all Drunk on bitcoin really need to look at what happens when private industry is allowed to control currency and payment systems.
Here's a start: wikipedia.org/wiki/Scrip
Make no mistake, bitcoin is not nearly as "decentralized" as people would like you to think, and it's not nearly as free from manipulation as is claimed. The difference is that it's the privately owned Exchanges which get to make the rules, as opposed to governments.

Re:First major retailer to accept Bitcoin (4, Funny)

Archfeld (6757) | about 8 months ago | (#45912235)

Very well said. BitCoins resemble company scrip more than any other medium of exchange. They are NOT legal tender thus no-one has to exchange them. If I had mod-points I'd use them for you...very rarely do I see an AC post worth moding up...

Re:First major retailer to accept Bitcoin (1)

SMTB1963 (1893272) | about 8 months ago | (#45912377)

How can it be a zero sum game?

It's a zero sum game if virtually all BTC transactions occur on the BTC to fiat exchanges, where no wealth is created.

The bitcoin network has obviously created wealth in the world.

That remains to be seen, but if you have some numbers to back up that assertion, let's see them.

What does it matter that Overstock is immediately converting bitcoins to USD? That still means that bitcoins are being used as a... wait for it... medium of exchange.

Huh? Who said anything about overstock converting BTC to USD? What they do with their BTC receipts (if any) was not addressed in my post. Back on topic, just because overstock.com has announced their acceptance of BTC doesn't mean anyone has actually paid them in BTC.

You do realize that people speculate in other currencies, too, right?

Loud-mouthed fool.

And what does that have to do with the price of tea in China? You do know that speculation is, by definition, a zero sum game...right?

Small minded fool.

Re:First major retailer to accept Bitcoin (1)

PRMan (959735) | about 8 months ago | (#45912851)

They got over $10,000 worth of BTC in the first hour and they convert 100% to dollars immediately with Coinbase.com taking the risk.

Re:First major retailer to accept Bitcoin (2)

kasperd (592156) | about 8 months ago | (#45912721)

What does it matter that Overstock is immediately converting bitcoins to USD?

Whether it is even a good idea for them to convert those bitcoin to USD is an open question. If they convert them immediately and end up with less USD than if they had received payment in USD in the first place, that just makes it a complicated (read expensive) scheme for giving some customers a discount. That is probably not a good strategy.

If they hold onto the bitcoins they receive, then that will put a cap on how much they could possibly sell through that method. That cap would also put a cap on how much they could lose on their bitcoin adventure. Additionally, doing so would take some bitcoins out of circulation. Taking bitcoins out of circulation while simultaneously providing value to the coin by providing goods you can buy with it, could potentially push the price of bitcoin upwards. If that happens they could slowly start selling some of those bitcoins at a profit.

A strategy that puts a cap on your possible losses while opening an opportunity for additional profit sounds like a good plan. But of course there are no guarantees, losses are losses, even if there is a cap on them.

Re:First major retailer to accept Bitcoin (1)

PRMan (959735) | about 8 months ago | (#45912865)

They are converting immediately with Coinbase taking the risk, but it would be smarter if they limited themselves to 30 days like Visa. They would drive the price of bitcoin up by doing so and make even more money.

Re:First major retailer to accept Bitcoin (1)

kasperd (592156) | about 8 months ago | (#45912663)

I'll accept BTC as a real currency once we start seeing credible numbers that people are actually using it to buy stuff besides alpaca socks, web services, drugs and assassinations.

I don't think anybody successfully bought an assassination paid with bitcoin.

Re:First major retailer to accept Bitcoin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45912819)

Are you saying that no one paid for an assassination in BTC, or that no one who paid for an assassination in BTC got their money's worth?

Re:First major retailer to accept Bitcoin (1)

kasperd (592156) | about 8 months ago | (#45912883)

Are you saying that no one paid for an assassination in BTC, or that no one who paid for an assassination in BTC got their money's worth?

Allegedly somebody did attempt it twice and got cheated both times by different people. As far as I recall the first time he was cheated by some gang of criminals and the second time he was cheated by FBI.

Re:First major retailer to accept Bitcoin (1)

PRMan (959735) | about 8 months ago | (#45912879)

We already know that assassinations were paid for in bitcoin on Silk Road. Hard to say if any of them succeeded.

Re:First major retailer to accept Bitcoin (1)

_merlin (160982) | about 8 months ago | (#45911951)

Can anyone explain why this is marked Funny and not Informative?

Because strictly speaking, Silk Road is a marketplace and not a retailer, as it's in the business of connecting independent vendors with customers.

Re:First major retailer to accept Bitcoin (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 8 months ago | (#45912855)

Because strictly speaking, Silk Road is a marketplace and not a retailer, as it's in the business of connecting independent vendors with customers.

It was also a payment facilitator. Silk Road was more like eBay+Paypal combined, with the exception that you MUST use the Silk Road to pay the seller.

The 27,000 BTC that the FBI seized were such in-transit money - it was escrow money that buyers sent to the Silk Road to pay the sellers in trust. (Of course, Silk Road took a percentage). They still haven't found the DPR stash, worth much more.

Technically, the buyers could appeal to the FBI for the money back, but since the FBI would need to know transaction details and records (which wallet, which destination, which transaction it was for - there's full record keeping in BTC, and Silk Road had to keep temporary in-flight records while the money was in escrow), well, they'd be released and re-seized under different laws.

Re: First major retailer to accept Bitcoin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45911427)

and the owner of that is facing fed time may even get in a fpmeita time

Re: First major retailer to accept Bitcoin (3, Informative)

DiSKiLLeR (17651) | about 8 months ago | (#45911469)

Ross was an idiot who gave away his identity when he first started working on silkroad (forum posts asking for help) and many otherr mistakes, poor opsec, hiring hitmen (cops in disguise), and ordering fake ids (another trap) and much more. He didn't even use tor to connect to the silkroad server in iceland which led to that being located and imaged as well.

Ross was truly and idiot and its amazing how long it took LE to find and catch him at all as he was not trying to stay hidden at all.

That said, SilkRoad is still up and doing very well.

Re: First major retailer to accept Bitcoin (1)

mythosaz (572040) | about 8 months ago | (#45911561)

A new SR is up and doing well...

Ross' greatest contribution was giving us a story worthy of a Movie of the Week if not at least a Dateline episode narrated by that white haired guy with the awesome voice :)

Re: First major retailer to accept Bitcoin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45911901)

It was reported in the Silk Road forums a week or two ago that three people involved with Silk Road 2.0 were recently arrested. It looks like their security isn't very good either.

Of course if they get taken down a replacement will come up within weeks. Drugs are too popular and too rewarding to merchants for the prohibitionists to be able to suppress them. There will always be someone happy to take the risk and become wealthy acting as a middle-man with these black market sites.

Ross was an idiot? You are made to believe that he (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45912013)

If you believe that he gave away his identity, then you do not know the CIA/FBI work methods or methods of similar agencies anywhere around the world.

You are made to believe that he made a mistake decribed in the newspapers.

They have found his identity using other, most likely, unconstitutional methods. Now that they have found identity, they reversed AND searched for his traces on internet to prepare a story how exactly he was found, so that the real method is not known. It is called parallel construction. Look it up. This method is very very old by the busy bees in cloaks and daggers.

Re:First major retailer to accept Bitcoin (1, Informative)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 8 months ago | (#45911523)

First major retailer to reach for freedom from the big banks was Khaddafi. We shot him in the head for it, and claimed he was being a terrorist dictator tyrant.

Lessons learned: Don't buy your oil with gold. The world bank will have America assassinate you.

Re:First major retailer to accept Bitcoin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45911789)

SilkRoad was not a retailer. They were a market. There is a huge difference.
Most of the anonymous markets are legit.
Most of the retailers, whether on those markets or operating independantly elsewhere, are scams.

Fantastic news (1, Interesting)

DiSKiLLeR (17651) | about 8 months ago | (#45911297)

This is fantastic news, and I hope more major retailers follow.

Re:Fantastic news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45911377)

Just out of curiosity, I wonder what would happen if you purchased some with Bitcoin and the value drops in half after you place the order but before it's shipped.

Yes, Bitcoin is that volitile and I'd tell the vendor to shove it if they demanded the balance.

Re:Fantastic news (4, Informative)

DiSKiLLeR (17651) | about 8 months ago | (#45911399)

They use coinbase which, like bitpay, will convert the btc into usd for the supplier. They will have their usd payment just as quickly as any other payment processor so there is no issue of the price dropping before an item is even prepared for shipping let alone before it is shipped.

Re:Fantastic news (2, Funny)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about 8 months ago | (#45911511)

In addition to what the Parent said, there is going to be increased stability in BitCoins as the currency gains acceptance. That stability will cause the currency's value to rise as stability increases, to the point where it becomes THE currency people barter for, rather than USD or EURO. At that point, you'll see sudden decrease in value of the other FIAT currencies, and deflationary nature of BitCoin to start happening.

Re:Fantastic news (4, Insightful)

Jeff Flanagan (2981883) | about 8 months ago | (#45911967)

Are you joking, or did you drink gallons of the bitcoin kool-aid? There's no reason that a single bitcoin should be worth more than $1, much less close to $1,000. It's all based on speculators, rather than any inherent value to bitcoins. Why make early-adopters and the founders of a single crypto-currency wealthy, when we can create new crypto-currencies as needed?

If crypto-currencies catch on, bitcoin will just be one of many, and I expect it to be worth a small fraction of the current bubble price caused by speculators rather than people actually using it as money.

Re:Fantastic news (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45911791)

Coinbase? Bitpay?

So to get bitcoin to actually work for payment processing, you have to insert a trusted third party between a buyer and seller. Thanks for clearing that up.

Re:Fantastic news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45911943)

It's still less than traditional electronic purchases. It's quite common for a transaction between an e-commerce website and a customer to include 3 other 3rd parties...processors like PayPal, networks like Visa and MasterCard and the actual banks like Capital One and Chase. That's a lot more 3rd parties than a BitCoin transaction.

Re:Fantastic news (1)

LordLucless (582312) | about 8 months ago | (#45912063)

No. You have to have a third party to convert bitcoins to USD. That's due to the nature of USD, not bitcoin.

If you were transacting purely it bitcoin, you wouldn't need a third party.

Re:Fantastic news (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45912547)

No. You have to have a third party to convert bitcoins to USD. That's due to the nature of USD, not bitcoin.

If you were transacting purely it bitcoin, you wouldn't need a third party.

That's great if you can eat alpaca socks. For the rest of us it means that a trusted third party is required to transact in BTC.

Re:Fantastic news (2)

LordLucless (582312) | about 8 months ago | (#45912913)

No, it means a trusted third party is required to transact in BTC at the moment. There's nothing inherent about bitcoin that means it can be traded for alpaca socks, but not pumpkins. If bitcoin becomes more widely used, it's value will stabilise. If it's value stabilises, it'll become accepted by more merchants, including merchants selling food.

Really, you're just re-iterating the same sentiment Ken Olson did: "There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home". No, there probably wasn't - then. His failure and yours is that you insist on assuming that the current state of affairs will persist indefinitely into the future. The value of bitcoin isn't what you can do with it now, but what you might be able to do with it in the future.

Re:Fantastic news (1)

PRMan (959735) | about 8 months ago | (#45912903)

They use coinbase which, like bitpay, will convert the btc into usd for the supplier. They will have their usd payment just as quickly as any other payment processor so there is no issue of the price dropping before an item is even prepared for shipping let alone before it is shipped.

But with bitcoin, they will have about 2% more money.

Re: Fantastic news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45911437)

order cancelled

Re:Fantastic news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45911449)

Easy -- when you pay them, you owe the highest market price over a window of the past 48 hours, and when they pay you (e.g. for a refund, or wages) it's based on the average market price over the past 48 hours.

Re:Fantastic news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45911453)

How can it? It has actual worth now, especially after Chinese interests have moved value into the currency. It is at USD 837 right now, and only going up. Yes, it takes hits, but it bounces right back.

Re:Fantastic news (1)

SleazyRidr (1563649) | about 8 months ago | (#45911649)

Exactly the same thing as if you order something from a different country and the exchange rate between the two currencies changes. It pretty much always will change in that window, and the vendor just has to make the decision that they are willing to accept the volatility in the value of the currency. Granted, that's asking a lot, as Bitcoin has been known to be very volatile, but it's fundamentally no different to what's already happening.

Re:Fantastic news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45911771)

and the vendor just has to make the decision that they are willing to accept the volatility in the value of the currency.

Not necessarily. He can also buy an option to insure himself against unfortunate movements. I'm sure that if Bitcoins get wide acceptance, you'll also be able to buy options for them.

Re:Fantastic news (1)

mythosaz (572040) | about 8 months ago | (#45911413)

It's not so much that o.co takes BTC, it's that o.co takes a 3rd party payment processor that handles BTC.

It's not any fundamentally different than taking Paypal or Mastercard (for that matter), other than that their merchant agreement might have some sort windows for the currency exchange valuation lock-in.

So that is "beating the system"? (2)

mbkennel (97636) | about 8 months ago | (#45911501)


to overthrow the tyranny of the evil payment and banking system, we will adopt a, uh, payment and banking system.

But since the code and infrastructure is less than 6 months old and depends on companies with less cash flow than lolcats.com instead of being crufty 25 year old code from evil companies with billions of evil fiat currency tokens, it's sure to be an awesome libertarian world changer!

Re:So that is "beating the system"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45911799)

The idea of Bitcoin is to replace Currency that allows a central bank to print bills as they see fit (and cause hyper-inflation), with a currency that allows inflation at a more determinable rate (block chains can only be authenticated so fast after all).

By removing a central authority, the inflation is controlled by natural and economic laws, which were deemed better than political laws by the developer of the currency.

Re:Fantastic news (1)

Seumas (6865) | about 8 months ago | (#45911455)

A bunch of them will.

And then they'll realize how ridiculous it is and they'll slowly and quietly begin to remove the payment method.

Re:Fantastic news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45911667)

This is fantastic news, and I hope more major retailers follow.

Major retailer? Let's rephrase the headline, shall we?

Overstock.com (a company that few people consider buying from), decided to get some free publicity by allowing payments with Bitcoin (or rather allows coinbase to act as intermediary), which made it popular on the internet (the source of all the people that would buy from the company anyway). It costs the company next to zero, gets more customers, and the only possible downside would be the attachment to Bitcoin's reputation, which is probably better than Overstock's anyway, which is not saying much about either one of them.

Can't wait for Tulip vendors to accept bitcoin! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45912685)

Imagine the pent up demand, it will be crazy!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tulip_mania

This Is Huge! Game Changing Step (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45911311)

This is the big game changer right here. This is what has been holding everything back, up until now. With this policy decision things are really going to take off. Clearly it has been the lack of Bitcoin that has been holding Overstock.com back for all this time.

Re:This Is Huge! Game Changing Step (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45911577)

And vice-versa. Bitcoin's grandest moment yet. What glorious days!

Re:This Is Huge! Game Changing Step (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45911629)

They probably got publicity worth tens of millions. A bit like Amazon with their drones.

Re:This Is Huge! Game Changing Step (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45912033)

Oooooo...can I buy my Athletics season tickets with Bitcoins now?

Re:This Is Huge! Game Changing Step (1)

sconeu (64226) | about 8 months ago | (#45912615)

Dammit. You beat me to it!!!

Overstock.com (or O.co, or whatever the hell they're calling themselves these days), must have money to burn... They actually decided they wanted their name associated with the tarp-covered monstrosity of a sewer in Oakland.

Did he really say "fight the machine"? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45911317)

Where's that Patrick-Stewart-Holding-His-Forehead picture when you really need it? Must *everyone* involved in these Monopoly money schemes be so obnoxious? If they want to take Bitcoin, that's awesome, and more power to them. But just shut up about it already. It's no less obnoxious than some blowhard CEO spouting off about Jesus, and just about imaginary.

Re:Did he really say "fight the machine"? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45911473)

It's good business. Bitcoin has got a lot of momentum from people who think like this and feeding their fantasies goes a long way.
 
It's no different than the fanboys who think that everyone who supports Linux in any fashion is rabidly anti-MS. Smart sales people will lean on this because it will generate sales even if the product isn't up to spec of another product and even if what they offer is available on Windows (like Steam games).
 
You get a lot of really delusional people throwing their money at something just to make it succeed even if you're not part of their crusade. That's why a lot of things like Bitcoin can't be taken too seriously yet... their early success is based on a consumer who's willing to pay more for less just to thumb their nose at The Man(tm).

Re:Did he really say "fight the machine"? (1)

OneAhead (1495535) | about 8 months ago | (#45912083)

Dear moderator, don't you think it's a bit harsh to moderate parent "Troll"? All they are saying is that it seems a tad hypocrite for a multi-million dollar CEO to claim to be doing this "to fight the machine" while it's clearly more "to improve the bottom line" (and the free publicity doesn't hurt either). I know, it barely rises above the daily noise of hypocrite ad campaigns and politicians, and you might be so desensitized that you didn't even notice it (particularly if you're living in the US), but still, I don't think parent is particularly inflammatory. Surely there are posts more worthy of your "-1 Troll" point on this site.

Wow (1)

locrien (865888) | about 8 months ago | (#45911353)

I guess I will actually have to consider buying things on overstock now.

I mostly ignored them due to their annoying commercials before.

Re:Wow (1)

RenderSeven (938535) | about 8 months ago | (#45911403)

I mostly ignored them due to their annoying commercials before.

If adding "The B" for "Bitcoin" means "Its all about the BO" I dont think that will improve their commercials. Actually I think I'll need a few cocktails just to try to get that image out of my head.

Re: Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45911615)

Oh God get it out!

I don't get it (1)

kruach aum (1934852) | about 8 months ago | (#45911367)

How can a company be ok with selling something for 600, no wait 1000, no wait 700, no wait 1200--aaargh 500 dollars?

Re:I don't get it (4, Informative)

ugen (93902) | about 8 months ago | (#45911447)

They don't actually accept bitcoins (or quote prices in bitcoins). What they do is offer a 3rd party check-out option. At the time of check out, the amount of USD will be converted to bitcoins according to the rate quoted by 3rd party (coinbase) and buyer would have to send the quoted amount. According to FAQ, quotes are valid for 10 minutes.

This mode of payment conveniently comes with a number of restrictions, in particular any orders paid for in this manner are not refundable in either USD or bitcoin, all buyer can get back is store credit.

More importantly, I don't see what is there to gain for bitcoin users. Privacy afforded by bitcoin is lost here since buyer identity is known to at least two parties - Overstock and Coinbase.

Re:I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45911533)

How is the privacy loss different than if they took BTC directly?

Re:I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45911603)

What loss? Overstock pays taxes and keeps shipping records. If you were to pay them directly, the government would know just as much about you.

Re:I don't get it (1)

ugen (93902) | about 8 months ago | (#45911625)

Loss compared to "ideal" use of bitcoin. In this case, bitcoin provides no better privacy than using a major credit card. Aside from privacy - what other objective advantages are to bitcoin compared to other payment methods?

Re:I don't get it (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45911825)

I guess for some the fact that you don't need to pass a credit check to participate in Bitcoin might be a major advantage.

Re:I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45912025)

Yes, because a currency that works by displaying all transactions to all the word just screams, 'use me for privacy'.

Re:I don't get it (2)

lgw (121541) | about 8 months ago | (#45912503)

What privacy to you think bitcoin provides? The government knows the physical address associated with the IP address associated with every bitcoin transaction. OK, sure it may be easier to use a stolen WiFi than a stolen credit card, but that's a pretty slim advantage.

Re:I don't get it (1)

Doug Otto (2821601) | about 8 months ago | (#45911619)

Privacy afforded by bitcoin is lost here since buyer identity is known to at least two parties - Overstock and Coinbase.

And UPS.

Re:I don't get it (1)

BaronAaron (658646) | about 8 months ago | (#45911651)

More importantly, I don't see what is there to gain for bitcoin users. Privacy afforded by bitcoin is lost here since buyer identity is known to at least two parties - Overstock and Coinbase.

Many people are interested in bitcoin because of the lack of central bank control and it's non fiat currency nature.

Re:I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45911793)

Many people are interested in bitcoin because of the lack of central bank control and it's non fiat currency nature.

I'd hope so, Bitcoins are hard to make good out of.

Re:I don't get it (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45912031)

Many people are interested in bitcoin because of the lack of central bank control and it's non fiat currency nature.

non fiat? Are you saying that bitcoins have intrinsic value?

Re:I don't get it (2)

lgw (121541) | about 8 months ago | (#45912533)

How is bitcoin not a fiat currency? Its supply is determined by algorithm instead of by a central bank, but that's not what "fiat" is about. For that matter, its supply is only controlled until it becomes mainstream - if BTC-denominated savings accounts ("eurobitcoins"), BTC futures, and BTC-denominated insurance policies come into play, the supply will be quite uncontrolled.

Re:I don't get it (1)

kasperd (592156) | about 8 months ago | (#45912845)

if BTC-denominated savings accounts ("eurobitcoins"), BTC futures, and BTC-denominated insurance policies come into play, the supply will be quite uncontrolled.

What that will make uncontrolled is promises about giving out bitcoins subject to some criteria. The actual bitcoins themselves will still be limited. The question then is, at what point people will realize that a bitcoin is worth more than a promise by somebody to give you a bitcoin.

Re:I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45911855)

It's not necessarily about privacy. It's about economy. And flipping the finger to Visa/MC/etc and the current context in which banks play a role.

As you well know, this will allow ill gotten and well washed bitcoin to enter the economy. Since you can never prevent washing, nor prove that in the myriad of transactions that any particular fraction you hold are truly clean unless you are the original miner, you might as well accept that and welcome them into your payment systems and thus to your bottom line.
God Bless sensible businesses such as Overstock!

btw: btc is about to go orbital. buy now or forever shut your mouth.

Re:I don't get it (1)

CrazyDuke (529195) | about 8 months ago | (#45912171)

It means I can pay for something on a website without some fucker draining my bank account or running up my credit card. Good luck signing me up for some surprise automatic billing BS either.

Re:I don't get it (1)

westlake (615356) | about 8 months ago | (#45912565)

As middleman, what percentage of the transaction goes to Coinbase?

Re:I don't get it (1)

PRMan (959735) | about 8 months ago | (#45912951)

I believe it's a monthly fee instead of a per-transaction fee.

Re:I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45912587)

I don't see what is there to gain for bitcoin users. Privacy afforded by bitcoin is lost here since buyer identity is known to at least two parties

Not really. See I just put in fake names and addresses when I ordered my stuff!

So I'll be able to enjoy all my new shiny goodies in pure anonymity as soon as they arrive...

Re:I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45911451)

Coinbase does all that work. The company sets a US$ amount for the sales price, and coinbase automatically varies the BTC value according to coinbases' current exchange value (which fluctuates along with the value on other fiat currency exchanges, but usually at a 3-5% lower value, so more BTC for same $ amount). You can also set up coinbase to automatically cash out the BTC and start a bank transfer/deposit with several different triggers (be it amount of BTC, or a daily trigger).

They don't actually accept bitcoins (3, Informative)

fastgriz (1052034) | about 8 months ago | (#45911371)

My understanding is that they provide an easy way to convert your bitcoins to USD during checkout.

Re:They don't actually accept bitcoins (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45911409)

Negative, they accept bitcoins through a third party company (coinbase) they decide on their coinbase account weather to keep them as BTC or convert them automagically into USD and deposit them to their bank account.

Re:They don't actually accept bitcoins (1, Funny)

mythosaz (572040) | about 8 months ago | (#45911423)

Correct. They don't so much accept "bitcoins" as they allow Coinbase to be a payment method not unlike Paypal.

Re:They don't actually accept bitcoins (3, Informative)

PRMan (959735) | about 8 months ago | (#45912963)

Except that I can pay directly from Mt. Gox or any other exchange or my wallet on my phone or browser or home pc or any other bitcoin-holding wallet.

Charlie Stross was right! (3, Insightful)

madhatter256 (443326) | about 8 months ago | (#45911521)

Bitcoin is the Libertarian's Currency!

Taken from his rant:

"Libertarians love it because it pushes the same buttons as their gold fetish and it doesn't look like a "Fiat currency". You can visualize it as some kind of scarce precious data resource, sort of a digital equivalent of gold. Nation-states don't control the supply of it, so it promises to bypass central banks. "

Re:Charlie Stross was right! (1)

gallondr00nk (868673) | about 8 months ago | (#45912753)

..same buttons as their gold fetish and it doesn't look like a "Fiat currency".

Libertarians are certainly know for their disdain for currencies issued by car manufacturers.

Only for US customers (2)

Animats (122034) | about 8 months ago | (#45911569)

This option is only available for US customers. There's no problem sending US dollars to Overstock. It would be more useful if they exported to China. But then they'd have to deal with inbound customs on the China end.

Re:Only for US customers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45911697)

What's your point? Everything overstock.com sell is made in China, so why not buy it at one of the 100 million markets that sell them or cheaper clones?

Look ma, no reversible payments! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45911575)

This might also have something to do with the fact that you can't submit a fraud claim the way you can with a credit card.

tax dodge (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45911641)

Somehow I think this is just a way for them to dodge taxes. I never trust a capitalist.

Does anyone *seriously* believe this? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45911691)

Like so many others, he believes Bitcoin can free the world from the control of big banks and big government. 'It helps us fight the machine,' he says."

Because big banks and big government will just go home and cry quietly in their pillows, powerless to stop either the loss of economic control or the loss of billions of dollars in transaction fees.

Bitcoin != anonymity/privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45911743)

As many have pointed out before, BitCoin's intent was to facilitate anonymous transactions. It's to provide an alternative to currencies which are manipulated by various governments.

The 'semi' anonymity is a by-product of the design, but in no way should be relied upon..

Why intermediary? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45911899)

Overstock Really needs to create an option that would allow the sale of goods without intermediaries. Using intermediary, aka, Coinbase, defies the purpose of using bitcoin to begin with.

If Overstock is that concern with the price fluctuations, they should be doing exchange in their back office (back end), not having customers to sing up for another website that they may or may not want.

I am sure they are reading this and will address this quickly. Until that happens I will continue using Ebay.

Overworked (1)

slapout (93640) | about 8 months ago | (#45911947)

I don't think I'd want to use a website were the engineers "worked almost every waking hour".

Not for international orders (at least yet) (1)

DarkSkiez (11259) | about 8 months ago | (#45911961)

Which has irritated me somewhat, as it would have allowed me to bypass excessive currency conversion fees.

Re:Not for international orders (at least yet) (2)

DarkSkiez (11259) | about 8 months ago | (#45911979)

Ah, not entirely true it turns out, I can click a link and go to their non-international version

read the paper (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45912089)

Bitpay charges retailers 1% for their service. Paypal (Visa etc..) charge between 4 and 7%. This is the major reason for both merchants and customers to prefer Bitcoin.

Same reason ThinkPenguin started accepting it and (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45912253)

that company was wildly successful according to the CEO. A good percentage of sales are paid in bitcoins now and unlike credit cards there are no charge backs or ridiculously high merchant fees to deal with. If I were running a company I'd even be tempted to stop accepting traditional currencies / credit cards / paypal / etc. It would probably reduce losses by 3-5%. The only problem is a lot of people don't have a bitcoin client installed or bitcoins to pay with. What will be more interesting than a major retailer accepting bitcoins is when a major retailer stops accepting traditional currencies as a payment option in order undercut the competition on price. Hmm I just had a great idea for a company.

Fluffy PR stunt (4, Insightful)

bloodhawk (813939) | about 8 months ago | (#45912627)

If overstock was such a huge believer in bitcoin then they would accept it as a payment method. and NO this is NOT what they are doing, they are still only accepting US dollars, they are just supporting a 3rd party payment method that allows people to convert bitcoins. In exchange for this convenience they lose the ability to get a refund.

It helps us fight the machine? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45912669)

Ummm...do you know where bitcoins come from?

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