For many holiday shoppers, hitting credit card limits may be less of a concern with a growing number of giant retailers and local businesses opening up their payment gateways to Bitcoin revenue.
The list of merchants accepting Bitcoins has seen an impressive growth with companies like Microsoft Corp., Dell Inc. and Expedia joining the merchant pool, but the fear of losing money to Bitcoin’s ever fluctuating value remains apparent. These tech companies, just like other businesses, choose to immediately convert Bitcoin sales into dollars, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Adam White, director of business development for San Francisco based Coinbase, a company processing Bitcoin transactions for merchants, told WSJ that the currencies volatility remains to be the first question they get asked about. Despite the recent price drop of Bitcoin value, White said, Coinbase’s list of merchants is growing at a rate of 10 percent every month. The majority of their merchant clients convert their Bitcoins into dollars, he said.
In the growing list of merchants, Overstock.com is one of the few big merchants who prefer to keep part of their revenue in Bitcoins. The company, which is known to keep 10 percent of its revenue in Bitcoins, generated $3 million in sales, whereas it originally projected about $15 million.
“Volatility in Bitcoin prices doesn’t say anything about the value of the underlying technology, which is a game changer,” said CEO Patrick Byrne in an interview with WSJ.
However, Market Platform Dynamics Founder David S. Evans seems to disagree. In an article, Evans compared paying through Bitcoins on Overstock to paying with PayPal on their website except when you buy anything using Bitcoins, you assume the currency risk, he wrote, which explains the fear among other companies like Microsoft and Dell that choose to convert their Bitcoin stock into dollars immediately.