E-commerce giant Overstock has announced that bitcoin payments will be available on its international website from 1 September. Patrick Byrne, CEO of Overstock.com, has announced that the company intends to expand its bitcoin payments programme to international customers in the next four to six weeks.
Currently, the option to pay for purchases in bitcoin has only been available to US customers, in line with other major industry merchants. Byrne said that Overstock had had a positive experience with bitcoin, with payments processed by Coinbase. Overstock is now issuing refunds in bitcoin.
According to Byrne, Overstock’s adoption of bitcoin will give the digital currency further legitimacy, given that Overstock handles around $1.5 billion annually in sales volume. Byrne added that bitcoin purchases account for one-quarter of 1% of the company’s sales, but that the pace of sales from this market segment is increasing.
Separately, Payza, a payment platform and payment service provider with 10 million customers in 190 markets, is offering members the opportunity to withdraw funds from their Payza eWallets directly into their bitcoin wallet. The bitcoin payments are based on the exchange rate of both US currency and bitcoin value at the time of transfer. Payza consumer exchange rates will be locked in at the moment of the transaction. All transactions, no matter which of the 21 currencies Payza currently handles, will be completed using the US dollar currency rate at the time of the transaction.
“As bitcoin continues to evolve and mature, it’s becoming more and more difficult to deny its potential, especially in the developing countries where our current consumers have limited access to a banking infrastructure,” said Firoz Patel, Payza’s executive vice-president of strategic Partnerships and corporate affairs. “We have spent a considerable amount of time to examine the pros and cons of bitcoin to make sure that its use on our platform is both appropriate and in line with best compliance practices required with other currencies. Only members with verified accounts can withdraw by bitcoin and members in countries where bitcoin has been restricted are blocked from using this feature.”