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Overstock.com chief executive Patrick Byrne wants his sprawling marketplace to be the first major online retailer to take Bitcoin. He plans to begin accepting the new currency within the next six months.
Following the fall of "Amazon for Drugs" site Silk Road, Bitcoins are—in the public mind—tied to the online drug trade and the dark web. But the embrace of a mainstream retailer like Overstock could change all that. Byrne seems less excited about being a pioneer, though, and more about the philosophical implications of the move. "You want money to be based on something that no government mandarin can wish into existence with the stroke of a pen," he said to Bits blog in a voicemail (Bitcoins are released on a predetermined schedule in predetermined amounts).
Before Overstock is processing Bitcoins for sofas, the company must first select a third-party firm to process the transaction and will have to decide how to determine the currency's value, which has been known to fluctuate wildly.
· Bitcoin [Official Site]
· Overstock to Embrace Bitcoin, Giving the Currency a Lift [Bits]
· Nobody Used Any Bitcoins at the Hester Holiday Market [Racked NY]
· Shutdown of Silk Road Cuts off Drugs and Counterfeiters [Racked]