Overstock was one of the first major online retailers to accept Bitcoin as a payment method. The announcement was a big step for Bitcoin. The cryptocoin is trying to find mainstream acceptance and events like this are important when trying to convince common people to start using Bitcoins.
Small Bitcoin revenue
Right after announcing the possibility to pay with Bitcoins, Overstock saw massive purchases made with the virtual currency. Earlier this month, Overstock said they crossed the million dollar mark in Bitcoin payments. Now, when the novelty has worn off, Overstock took another look at the Bitcoin numbers in their sales database. According to Patrick Byrne, CEO of Overstock, they are getting roughly $20k to $30k a day in Bitcoin payments.
It's a decent amount for sure but, in reality, this is hardly a fraction of Overstock's daily sales. When we compare these numbers to the company's 2013 sales figures, the total share of Bitcoin is 0.83% of their total revenue. Of course, there are other things playing here. The percentage may be low, but prospect of the Bitcoin market for Overstock are still good. That's not even mentioning the amount of free publicity Overstock got after accepting Bitcoin.
To understand the cause of the current problem, we just have to take a closer look at what Bitcoin 'is' right now. Half of all the coins are owned by less than 1,000 people. This is a very tiny amount of wallets that make the number of potential shoppers relatively small. If Overstock wants to see their Bitcoin revenue increase, it has to wait for the Bitcoin market to grow. Once the coin becomes a part of everyday life, the mainstream acceptance we talked about earlier, sales using the coin will increase tremendously.
Bitcoin is here to stay
One could fear that the company would think of abandoning Bitcoin until the coin has matured, but Overstock is a different case. Byrne is a believer. He thinks Bitcoin is the future of money and believes the entire situation can only be positive for both his business and Bitcoins. When asked about his perspective, he said that there is no doubt the market will continue to grow and that he stands by the company's decision.
Overstock isn't the only company that accepts Bitcoin as a method of payment. Nearly every merchant that works with Bitcoins has received similar results. People are spending Bitcoins daily, but it is only a fraction of their overall revenue. Some people report that Bitcoin's future is uncertain. People aren't sure about what Bitcoins are and how they are used. On top of that, the recent scandals that have been hitting the newspapers are spreading fear among the people.
That's why it is so important to have companies like Overstock around. These are authorities that people believe in. When a CEO like Byrne pronounces his faith in Bitcoin, it gets people's attention. They become curious as to why someone successful as Byrne would firmly believe in the future of something they heard so much bad things about. They will start looking up things about cryptocurrencies, not because they have to but because they want to. And that is the most important step towards mainstream acceptance. You need people that are interested and willing to learn. Companies like Overstock are pioneers. Every revolution needs pioneers.