Is Bitcoin Finally Becoming the Future of E-commerce?
Back in January, 2014, Overstock.com became the first major retailer to start accepting bitcoin here in the US. By "major retailer," we mean retailer who is currently doing more than a billion in annual revenue; and, taking in to consideration the volatile value of bitcoin, overstock will either be labeled as "careless" or "genius" in the coming months. Why in the coming months?
Overstock's most recent announcement is that they will now be accepting bitcoin worldwide. Due to the large frequency of orders that they receive on a daily basis, Overstock's results will likely determine the future of crypto currency in the E-commerce space. Several smaller companies have already taken the risk of accepting the new form of currency, but, as the largest thus far, Overstock's results should serve as the key indicator for other major retailers in their decisions to move forward with bitcoin or not.
Among the many speculations, the notion of how the many governments will regulate the bitcoin transactions is still quite a mystery. As bitcoin continues to grow, the value of national currencies could start to decline. If bitcoin does take off the way it's supporters envision it, the big banks and the government may slowly lose control of their respective nation's money system. Then, what would happen? Would the government step in? Would the big banks then start to disintegrate? Probably not, but it will be very intriguing to watch the situation unfold.
Overstock's CEO and Chairman, Patrick Byrne, is hoping for the big banks to lose that control. He has vowed to donate 4% of his bitcoin sales toward funding non-profits that are working to develop the idea of the digital currency. Byrne believes this new form of currency could eliminate the need for government functions and financial institutions. For example, because bitcoin is already an international technology, people could transfer money from country to country without the need to pay unnecessary fees to companies like Western Union.
At the end of the day, bitcoin could be a cheaper way to save or spend money. It could be a way to standardize how international currency is traded. At the moment, it could provide international retailers a way to accept payment without incurring hefty fees from the credit card companies. Bitcoin is already producing 12-15 thousand dollars/day in profits for overstock, and New York State is proposing a bitcoin license for businesses. Byrne believes that bitcoin is already too big to fail. What do you think?