Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne made waves in the imaginary money world when he announced the retailer will start accepting payment in bitcoin sometime next year. In interviews, Byrne made his confidence in the cryptocurrency seem rock-solid. But if you look a little closer, it seems he’s not really buying in at all.
No, while you might be able to spend bitcoin on Overstock.com’s closeouts in 2014, as soon as the company receives your vapour-money, it’ll change it right back to US dollars. So while Byrne calls the decision “part and parcel with my belief in a limited government,” and refers to bitcoin as “an honest currency,” at the end of the day he’ll be taking his profits in good old-fashioned, dishonest, unlimited-government-backed cash.
That’s most definitely the smart move from a business standpoint, since Bitcoin’s manic value fluctuations could bankrupt a company about six dozen times a day. But for the people out there who sincerely hope to pay for goods in unicorn pelts, Overstock.com’s support isn’t a step in the right direction. It’s a marketing move. [L.A. Times via The Verge]