Overstock hopes to encourage bitcoin use with a range of incentives for vendors who decide to accept payments in the digital currency.
Speaking in a podcast at the libertarian Porcupine Freedom Festival, Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne said, “We’re going to start giving sort of special deals to the vendors who want to be paid in bitcoin."
This could mean offering discounts and favourable terms to vendors selling through the Overstock platform if they start to accept bitcoin, he indicated, adding that the company may also reward those who already accept the digital currency.
Notably, Byrne also said his company may also offer its employees the option to get paid in bitcoin.
In the podcast, Byrne stressed that he is committed to the “crypto-revolution” and the discounts are being considered “very seriously”, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Byrne has repeatedly made it clear that he is a firm advocate of bitcoin and Overstock’s decision to embrace the cryptocurrency seems to be no publicity stunt.
Last month Byrne said Overstock would set aside 3% of its bitcoin profits for advocacy organisations that promote digital currencies. Byrne has also put his money where his mouth, claiming to hold “several million” dollars in bitcoin.
As for the new initiative, Byrne is looking at the big picture:
“It’s all about building. If we can get employees taking it, and vendors taking it, and customers paying for it, then it all becomes a virtuous circle.”
Boost to bitcoin
In May, Byrne said the company had processed $1.6m in bitcoin sales since it started accepting bitcoin in January. Earlier this year, Byrne said Overstock’s bitcoin sales could hit as much as $10-20m, but figures have slightly dropped off in recent weeks.
Whether Byrne's desire to build a supply chain of bitcoin-friendly vendors will boost retail sales is yet to be seen, but it should at least bring yet more retail options to the bitcoin community.