Not to be outdone by the likes of Newegg, TigerDirect, and Overstock.com, Michael Dell took to twitter today to announce the acceptance of Bitcoin at Dell.com. Coinbase followed with a blogpost announcing their newest and largest partner to date. The Texas-based, privately-owned company dwarfs resellers such as the aforementioned companies with over 100,000 employees employed worldwide and over $60 billion USD in annual sales. So far, Michael Dell hasn't said anything about paying any of his workers with Bitcoin; however, it is only a matter of time before he faces internal pressure to do so. Like Overstock, Dell uses Coinbase to process Bitcoin payments and receive 100% compliant USD settlement. Competitors, Newegg and TigerDirect both use BitPay, which has a payroll feature all ready for use when any of the aforementioned companies decides to start paying salaries in Bitcoin. Dell was able to integrate Bitcoin payments with Coinbase in just 2 weeks. Bitcoin acceptance is easy, this simple fact can't be stated enough, and the rewards are measurable.
Michael Dell's monumental tweet:
— Michael Dell (@MichaelDell) July 18, 2014
As the world's largest ecommerce business currently accepting Bitcoin, Dell should be positioned to receive many Bitcoin payments from enthused individuals. In the past, following large company's announcements of Bitcoin acceptance, there has typically been a surge in Bitcoin sales and Bitcoin media coverage, followed by a relative lull. This phenomenon was particularly felt by Overstock.com, the first large ecommerce business to accept Bitcoin. The "bubbling" and fermenting hope among Bitcoiners is that small businesses around the country will start to pay Dell using Bitcoin for hardware, software or other business-to-business (B2B) services. The types of closed Bitcoin economies that can emerge will only grow as key players are added to the ecosystem.
According to Dell's Bitcoin FAQ page, Dell is accepting Bitcoin because:
"Bitcoin is a new payment option intended to offer even more flexibility for customers. Bitcoin payments can be made easily from anywhere in the world, and offer reduced payment processing costs."
Unfortunately, especially given Dell's international scope, this functionality is currently only available to Americans. Even Canadian customers are not able to checkout using Bitcoin yet. According to Coinbase, to provide incentives to Bitcoin spenders, Dell is offering a 10% discount on select Alienware products if purchased using Bitcoin.
Is There A Competition To Be The Biggest Business Accepting Bitcoin?
Dell's acceptance of Bitcoin and their own 10% discount come on the heels of Newegg.com (Previously the largest ecommerce business to be accepting Bitcoin) offering a 10% Bitcoin discount. According to data presented by the WSJ in 2013, Dell was the 10th largest retailer in terms of online sales, a high ranking that Dell has maintained for over a decade. For comparison, Newegg, TigerDirect, and Overstock.com don't even make it onto the list of top 15 online retailers. Understandably, the top spots go to Amazon, Apple, and Staples, respectively. The fact that Bitcoin acceptance has finally managed to penetrate the indisputable top online retailers in the world is an accomplishment in and of itself. This is only the first crack in the dam. If I can buy a Dell laptop with Bitcoin... Why not a Costco membership? A Netflix subscription? In fact, using services such as Gyft or eGifter allow users to buy gift cards to many of these retailers that do not yet accept Bitcoin, with a few percentage points of discount, no less. The Bitcoin community proves, time and time again, that there is ground-up demand for each and every one of these businesses to accept Bitcoin. Since Coinbase offers 0% fee processing for the first $1,000,000 USD in sales, it only makes sense for any company to try out Bitcoin acceptance. Today, Dell has taken the crown as the largest ecommerce business to be accepting Bitcoin. Tomorrow is another day.
Featured image from Shutterstock.