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Tigerdirect.com jumps on the bitcoin bandwagon, begins taking virtual currency

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TigerDirect.com became the second major online retailer to accept the virtual currency bitcoin on Thursday, when it sent emails to its customers announcing the move, and added a dedicated page on its website, to boot.

Earlier this month, Overstock.com became the first major Internet retailer to accept bitcoins, after Overstock.com’s CEO and chairman, Patrick Byrne teased in December that his company would begin accepting bitcoins for payment. While Byrne gave a six month window for that change, it's believed he pushed to get it implemented ASAP because he felt he had tipped his hand too quickly.

Overstock.com is using San Francisco startup Coinbase as a processor; Tigerdirect.com, meanwhile, will use BitPay as its payment processor, becoming that company’s largest client to date.

TigerDirect.com does have brick-and-mortar stores, but bitcoins will be accepted only online, not in physical locations.

TigerDirect’s parent company, Systemax, is a Fortune 100 company with annual revenues of over $2 billion and more than 3,000 employees. The company made the following atatement:

TigerDirect has always been on the forefront of alternative online payment methods and delivering the most convenient ways for our customers to shop,” said Steven Leeds, TigerDirect’s Director of Corporate Marketing.

With individuals building their own high-powered PCs with parts offered on our site to mine bitcoins, it’s a logical fit.

The move just adds to the legitimacy of bitcoin as currency. However, clearly bitcoin has been "legitimate" for some time. In mid-December, an Orange County Lamborghini dealership made headlines when it accepts them as payment for a car.

Bitcoin, though, is like a stock. It's price fluctuates, and it is extremely volatile.

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