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Overstock.com becomes first major online retailer to accept Bitcoin

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Online retailer Overstock.com has signed a deal with a company called Coinbase to begin processing transactions in Bitcoin. That means, effective today, the controversial alternative currency can now be used to shop for homegoods, jewelry, furniture and more.

"This is historic. Digital currency will be an important part of the future and Overstock is excited to be the first major online shopping retailer to accept it," stated Overstock.com CEO Patrick M. Byrne. "Bitcoin is well suited for online transactions. It has no transaction fees and works well for international customers. Providing this convenience for the cult-following Bitcoin customer is the smart thing to do."

Byrne has, in the past, expressed affinity for the currency's independence from a central bank. He signaled in December that Overstock would move quickly to adopt the method of payment.

Once a customer select items and places them into their shopping cart, they'll now see Bitcoin as a payment choice along with Visa, MasterCard and PayPal.

"We believe that Bitcoin is nearing a tipping point for broad consumer adoption, and we couldn't be more thrilled to be working with the team at Overstock.com to help make that a reality,' said Fred Ehrsam, co-founder of Coinbase.

At the close of business on Thursday, one Bitcoin was trading for more than $850. The notoriously volatile crypto-currency has recently experienced wild swings in value.

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