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  • Clint Engel accepting Bitcoin currency

Salt Lake City - is now accepting the new digital currency Bitcoin as a form of payment, making it the first big online retailer to do so, the company said.
     Once customers select goodsfrom its more than 1 million onlineitems - including furniture, rugsand electronics - and place themin their shopping carts, Bitcoin willbe listed among the customer's paymentoptions, which also includedVisa, MasterCard and PayPal.
     "This is historic. Digital currencywill be an important part ofthe future and Overstock is excitedto be the first major online shoppingretailer to accept it," PatrickByrne, chairman and CEO of theSalt Lake City-based company, saidin a release. "As one who believes inlimited government, this attracts mebecause it is a form of money thatno government mandarin can willinto existence."
     Overstock called Bitcoin the"world's most widely used crypto currency,"with a "network madeup of thousands of computers runby individuals around the worldand doesn't answer to a centralauthority." It's similar to gold in itsmathematically constrained supplythat "will grow in a predictablemanner," the e-commerce retailersaid.
     Byrne said Bitcoin is well suitedfor online transactions, with notransactions fees attached.
While the new digital currencyhas experienced wild valuationswings, Byrne has said previouslythat Overstock will either immediatelyconvert it to dollars or hedgeits risk through derivatives. is partneringwith to process thepayments and handle the conversionof Bitcoin into U.S. dollars.
     "Providing this convenience forthe cult-following Bitcoin customeris the smart thing to do," Byrnesaid, adding that the companybelieves the currency is nearing atipping point for broad consumeradoption.

Clint EngelClint Engel | Senior Retail Editor, Furniture Today

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