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Published: 12 June 2014

Though originally conceived by Satoshi Nakamoto with the first instance of the software released in 2009, it took until 2013 for Bitcoin to really start to break mainstream news, albeit not always for the right reasons and love it or hate it, it looks like it’s around to stay with a number of savvy business owners being quick to accept it as a form of payment. In this blog post I will be looking at how Bitcoin acceptance has impacted Overstock, currently the largest company to do so.

Overstock.com are an American retailer with yearly revenue of $1.3 Billion, selling just about everything from furniture to electronics. CEO Patrick M Byrne has been vocal of his love for the digital currency, insisting that the companies’ endorsement and acceptance is not a publicity stunt and that he is a true believer, comparing Bitcoin to gold.
Since the announcement, Bryne has continued to be active within the community, even leading a keynote to over 1,000 attendees at the recent Bitcoin 2014 conference, held in Amsterdam.

Though no one can deny Byrne’s enthusiasm and passion for the digital currency, from a marketing perspective, the announcement in January resulted in a large amount of publicity for the company as shown below.

Looking at the amount of indexed mentions of “Bitcoin Overstock” shows that information was published on at least 6,590 web pages.

This resulted in an influx of links, some of which were from highly authoritative sites. The below represents 227 domains linking to www.overstock.com/bitcoin

The news was also well received on Twitter with the announcement being a catalyst for an influx in new followers and to this day the announcement still serves as one of the companies top performing tweets of all time.

Has it worked for Overstock.com? Yes! As well as the increased publicity, the first 2 months saw Overstock.com take more than $1 million in Bitcoin payments.

According to Tech Radar, more than 4,000 customers chose to pay for their orders with Bitcoins, and significantly, Overstock.com says that more than 60% of these were new customers.

Byrne has stated that they didn’t expect to reach the $1 million mark that quickly; with the resounding success of accepting Bitcoin it looks like the digital currency is set to become a permanent part of the business and with the success being so well publicised it won’t be long until others follow suit! Last week alone saw a number of new businesses announcing that they plan on adopting the currency, including the Dish Network, who with $13.9 billion in revenue last year will pip Overstock to the post for the title of the largest company in the world to accept Bitcoin when they go begin accepting in Q3 of 2014.

Who’s next? Rumours are rife that Ebay and Paypal integration could be happening soon and with Wall Street beginning to pay attention and further legitimise what was once seen as being nothing more than play money for geeks we predict that many more, like Overstock.com will flood to the market, looking to capitalise on the emerging technology.

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