Online retail giant Overstock has partnered with blockchain startup ShapeShift to accept more than 60 cryptocurrencies as payment at its online stores.
With the announcement, Overstock.com shoppers can now use ether, litecoin, dash and bitcoin cash at checkout, a move that follows Overstock's early embrace of bitcoin as a payment method. Overstock first began accepting bitcoin for payment in 2014, and it has remained active in developing the technology, even launching a dedicated subsidiary to focus on applications.
In statements, Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne sought to portray the decision as one that gives its customers greater freedoms outside of the traditional financial system.
"Overstock is pro-freedom, including the freedom of individuals to communicate information about value and scarcity without relying on a medium created through the fiat of unaccountable government mandarins."
The move further comes at a time of broader diversification in the cryptocurrency market, which has seen bitcoin's share of the total asset class slip below 50%.
As such, Overstock framed the move as one that keeps it in line with new developments in the blockchain market. But whether the company believes this trend will continue remains unclear.
Notably, Overstock said it intends to convert the cryptocurrency it receives to bitcoin, as well as issue refunds using the protocol.
Disclosure: CoinDesk is a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which has an ownership stake in ShapeShift.
Overstock image via CoinDesk Archives