Bitcoin supporter Overstock.com, led by long-time Bitcoin supporter CEO Patrick Byrne, is projecting three million US Dollars in overall sales for merchandise purchased with Bitcoin for 2014. The amount is a marked drop from the fast start projections Overstock claimed early on, based on the initial flurry of Bitcoin activity the once-largest Bitcoin merchant experienced early on.
Overstock has spent almost the entire year accepting Bitcoin, taking their first orders on January 9th, netting almost 800 orders and over $100k in revenue from less than one day of business. By March, it was reported by Overstock that they had over $1 Million US Dollars in sales. Based on these initial numbers, $10-15M was the annual projection. Obviously, this initial burst has not been able to be sustained throughout the year, and management released a statement of guarded optimism yesterday. Judd Bagley, Director of communications and General Manager of Overstock’s Cryptocurrencies Group, said:
“While we’re still very happy with sales to customers paying with Bitcoin, the numbers didn’t meet our initial expectations.”
Bear in mind that Bitcoin was worth more than double what it is worth today at the start of 2014, and this may account for both the lack of investment and the over-estimation in business to be gained. Overstock.com only started selling overseas via Bitcoin since September, although those sales are not nearly as strong as those on the domestic side.
Consumers with more money tend to spend more money, and as Bitcoin has had a drop in overall US Dollar value throughout the year, the buying has also slowed. This shouldn’t be a solitary referendum on Bitcoin consumer interest or purchasing power, however. With a full year of global sales, and a potential upshot in Bitcoin value versus the dollars, plus greater acceptance from major merchants, sales should have fertile ground for growth going forward.
Images from Overstock and Wikimedia Commons.