In what might be a sign that bitcoin isn’t just a mystical, ethereal currency to be hoarded like a magic pot of gold but never spent, Overstock.com says it did $126,000 in sales on the first day it started accepting it. Which means people spent it to buy everyday items instead of big purchases like a Tesla Model S.
Wired.com points out that while $126,000 doesn’t sound like much, it’s an important step for the currency as it tries to bridge the gap between something people squirrel away as an investment, and an everyday currency used to buy actual stuff.
In the first 22 hours, Overstock.com says it accepted about 800 orders in bitcoin, with $5,000 worth of those orders happening in the first 30 minutes alone.
So what were people buying? One guy who’s been using bitcoin since March of last year says he just wanted to see if the new system worked and signed on to buy a new case for his smartphone. He adds that he wants to support bitcoin so that it actually thrives in the real market.
“It’s a concept that could take off, and should take off, for a lot of reasons,” he says. “I want wider adoption. I want more businesses to use it.”
With Overstock.com’s announcement it’s likely that other retailers might start thinking about following suit. After all, if there are shoppers out there with money to burn, no matter what form it takes, retailers will want a piece of that action.
“So far I have not regularly bought stuff with bitcoin, although I am beginning to change that behavior,” another shopper said of his Overstock.com experience. “The increasing price of bitcoin is definitely an obstacle to purchasing bitcoin, but a temporary one.”
Hear that sound? It’s the perking of ears as online retailers hear “I want to spend my money and just need somewhere to spend it.”