In January, Overstock became the first leading online retailer that integrated bitcoin in the US. Currently it is the first firm to promote bitcoin internationally.
The Salt Lake City-based company partnered with Coinbase to launch new functionality that will enable buyers to pay with digital currency. The new feature on its website O.co will be available for users in 107 countries, including Argentina, Brazil, China, France, Germany, Israel, Canada and Japan.
In an interview with Coindesk, Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne said the integration with bitcoin marks its cross-border payments capabilities. Moreover, the feature will provide new shopping opportunities for bitcoin users.
He told CoinDesk: “This is our international marketing strategy. We’re hoping that bitcoin enthusiasts around the world start shopping at O.co because they know they can spend bitcoin on more than 1 million products here and have them delivered to the whole globe.”
“As long as you can get on the internet, you can order and pay in bitcoin,” Byrne said. “You can order in North Korea if you want—as long as you’re having things delivered to, say, Singapore.”
In order to prompt people to use both US and international websites, Byrne noted that 4% of all savings from bitcoin transactions the firm will donate to the groups that promote the cryptocurrency. The Chamber of Digital Commerce will be the first organization to receive the funds.
Byrne said: “If all the bitcoin users around the world did their shopping at O.co in bitcoin, just the 4% of that would provide a tremendous amount of funds to be given back to bitcoin foundations. That’s all the money they would need. All the foundations would get fully funded.”
Perianne Boring, president of the Chamber of Digital Commerce, told that they were honored to receive the funds. “We are gratified that the work of the Chamber is being recognized and we pledge to use these funds to further promote the acceptance and use of digital currencies among government and the larger public,” he said.
International bitcoin payments were anticipated to be launched on 1st September, but came after a two-weeks delay that was actively discussed by in the bitcoin community. Byrne commented that delay was caused by certain difficulties related to the new checkout process integration.
Bitcoin is expected to have a positive impact on Overstock, as the current overseas traffic totals only 10%.
Speaking to The New York Times in August, Byrne noted he hopes that international bitcoin payment option will increase the frim’s profits to $2 million this year.
The new offering comes in line with international Coinbase expansion. Bitcoin payment processor is now available in 13 countries across Europe.