Overstock's Patrick Byrne: Bitcoin Sales Will Add 4 Cents to 2014 EPS

Some interesting news surfacing from a Reuters exclusive on this Wednesday evening.

The news agency’s report indicates that Overstock.com‘s bitcoin sales will add an estimated four cents to the company’s 2014 EPS (earnings per share) figure.

Word came from the company’s head honcho, Mr. Patrick Byrne, who spoke to the outlet directly.

Already this year, Overstock.com has managed to pull in a whopping $2 million worth of bitcoin sales on a slew of different items, and Byrne (who’s generally quite ambitious) says he’s expecting the company to rake in between $4 and $6 million worth of payments using the digital currency this year alone.

He tells Reuters:

[blockquote style=”2″]I think the world expects us to make 75-80 cents per share this year. And 4 cents of that would be attributable to bitcoin.[/blockquote]

Investopedia.com defines earnings per share as: “The portion of a company’s profit allocated to each outstanding share of common stock,” adding that, “Earnings per share serves as an indicator of a company’s profitability.”

Patrick Byrne Twitter PictureOverstock.com stands as a shining beacon to many in the bitcoin (and cryptocurrency) community, becoming the first major company to adopt the digital currency as a means of payment.

Since then, a number of other high-profile companies have followed in Overstock’s footsteps, of which include Newegg.com and TigerDirect.com.

Overstock.com has stated previously that they keep approximately ten percent of the bitcoin they collect from customers and set it aside. Another small percentage of bitcoin revenues (at least three percent) will be used to support cryptocurrency adoption in the future, the company’s CEO announced at a bitcoin conference in Washington, D.C. in June.

The mega-retailer has plans to enable bitcoin acceptance for international customers some time in the middle of September, and according to Byrne, he’s in the cryptocurrency realm for the “long haul”.

[textmarker color=”C24000″]Source[/textmarker] Reuters

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A newly-announced event dubbed APEX: Digital Currency Partnerships, will take place from September 8-9 with a goal of “bring[ing] digital currency to the forefront of financial services.”

The event described:

Apex digital currency EXPO“At APEX: Digital Currency Partnerships, you’ll engage in new conversation, bridging Bitcoin philosophy and business development. We’ll cover digital currencies as transactional currency, investment vehicles, protocol platforms and the underpinning of financial services for mainstream and underserved consumers.”

Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne will reportedly be delivering the keynote address at the expo, which is taking place in San Francisco, California.

Byrne found himself in spotlight of the bitcoin community when his company became the first major retailer in the world to announce the support of and acceptance of bitcoin.

Since then, the community has looked up to Byrne — and is extremely interested in what he has to say.

If you’ll recall, Byrne delivered the keynote address at the Bitcoin Foundation’s Bitcoin 2014 conference last week, in which he made enthusiastic remarks to a crowd exceeding 1,000 people.

“Bitcoin is good money,” Byrne told me last year in an interview — a statement he’s supported by acquiring several million dollar’s worth of the digital currency for himself.

Should be interesting.

If you were wondering who else will be at the APEX event, speakers include newly-elected Bitcoin Foundation board member Brock Pierce, Vitalik Buterin from Ethereum, and Jaron Lukasiewicz, CEO at Coinsetter.

For more information on the event, you can check out their homepage here.

A reminder to you regarding Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne’s plans to do a Q&A session on social sharing website Reddit.com.

It’s taking place right now (follow this link), as planned.

He writes:

[blockquote style=”2″]14 years ago I launched Overstock.com. Today, despite the great dotcom bubble and several financial downturns, Overstock.com has grown to become one of the largest internet retailers on the planet. The best idea I ever had is Worldstock, the fair trade division of Overstock.com, which sells the work of thousands of artisans in developing nations, and has become one of the largest fair trade organizations in the world.[/blockquote]

Patrick Byrne was the recipient of much attention in November of last year, when he announced to the world that his online store would be accepting Bitcoin payments — making it the first major company in the world to do so.

He’s a staunch supporter of crypto-currencies, if you haven’t already guessed.

[blockquote style=”2″]I’m indifferent to controversy, and have stirred things up with my decade-long battle against corruption on Wall Street, my ardent support for school vouchers, and my advocacy of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.[/blockquote]

So far, many of the questions asked by Redditors involve digital currency, so if you’re looking to get your question in, now’s the time.

Here’s that link again for you.

Overstock.com Logo Wide

We’ve been hearing for weeks that online retail giant Overstock.com was approaching $1 million in sales done in bitcoin. The time has come, and Overstock.com today announced they have indeed passed the $1 million mark.

“We did not expect to hit this milestone so quickly,” said Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne. “Bitcoin customers are good customers, and we’re pleased to provide them this service.”

Since accepting the digital currency on January 9th, over 4,300 customers (60 percent of them new customers) have paid for their products in bitcoin. Popular items sold include mobile phone cases and bed sheets, if you were curious.

When I spoke to the company’s CEO by phone last year, he was seemingly ecstatic about the possibility of accepting the cryptocurrency. Bitcoin payments were originally slated to begin in the second half of 2014, but the company reportedly felt pressured to enable them sooner to prevent a competitor from taking the lead (a result of the widespread media attention).

Overstock.com Logo

Overstock.com is proving to the world of retail that accepting bitcoin can be a lucrative decision. On January 9th, the company rolled out its bitcoin integration (in partnership with Coinbase) some six months ahead of plan.

It wasn’t long before the world receive the first sales figures. In a matter of hours, over $10,000-worth of merchandise was sold in exchange for the digital currency. A day later, it was reported that about $130,000 in bitcoin sales had been made.

Here we are, closing in on the end of January, and we haven’t heard much. Until now. Forbes‘ Erika Morphy provides some updated figures.

For starters, since January 9th, Overstock.com has sold a whopping $500,000-worth of products in bitcoin. It’s certainly more than the lot of us expected, but the top items sold for bitcoin may surprise you even more.

Morphy’s compiled list of most popular items sold for bitcoin since January 9th is topped off with “sheets”. Yes, sheets. Cell phone accessories and audio/video peripherals came in second and third, respectively.

Other items with popularity include rugs, bedroom furniture, and computer equipment.

Overstock.com seemingly continues full steam ahead as the first major retailer to embrace bitcoin — will the others soon follow suit?

Overstock.com Logo

This week, we told you about Overstock.com’s plans to start accepting bitcoin in 2014. Some more information is coming to light.

In a conversation with CoinDesk, Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne said that the decision on whether or not to work independently of digital currency payment processors is something that may happen in the next two weeks.

“We’ll probably be working with the third parties. There are a few different ones that are interested in our business. It makes sense to work with them rather than developing it from scratch,” said Byrne.

The company will begin accepting bitcoin in June or July of next year.

There’s still much more work for Overstock to do on this front, but it’s certainly great news that they’re taking the first step.

Overstock.com Logo

In late October, there was a brief mention of retailer Overstock.com in a New York Times piece that noted the online retailer was considering accepting bitcoin, but decided they would put a hold on that objective (partially due to the fact that bitcoin is still a ‘gray area’ in terms of financial law).

It would appear that Overstock is once again revving their engines on that front, with the company telling newsBTC that they plan to begin accepting bitcoin in the second half of 2014 — making them the first big retailer in the space to do so.

The announcement comes directly from Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne, who spoke to me briefly on Wednesday in an interview by phone. Byrne told me that the company is still working out the logistics of accepting the currency, but notes that they may plan to work independently of bitcoin payment processors like Coinbase or BitPay by implementing a proprietary system to manage the transactions. The bottom line: Overstock hasn’t decided yet. Byrne says Overstock will have no marginal cost in the implementation, so it’s something they’ll keep plugged in. If after a year or two Overstock sees minimal bitcoin purchases, that may be the time to pull that plug.

“Bitcoin is good money,” Byrne told me.

Overstockcom Screenshot
Overstock.com was launched in 1999. Today, the online retailer does over $1 billion in revenue annually.

Many companies today accept bitcoin, but immediately convert it to fiat afterwards. Asked whether or not Overstock would take the same approach, Byrne indicated that if Overstock kept their bitcoin, they would need to find a market on which to hedge their risk.

“If we cannot find a way to hedge our risk, we’ll be converting right back into dollars,” Byrne said.

And with the price per bitcoin fluctuating wildly (particular this week in an unfortunate downward direction), would this turn Overstock.com off to accepting bitcoin?

“Not in the least,” says Byrne, reiterating that if Overstock can hedge their risk or have the option of converting into dollars, it won’t matter.

“Those kinds of fluctuations won’t matter in our plans,” he says.

This is a hugely important milestone in bitcoin history. An online retailer the magnitude of Overstock surely has the power to become the catalyst in widespread acceptance of the digital currency in the online marketplace, but Byrne noted that at the end of the day, it really all depends on how many users end up paying with bitcoin.

“It will put [Overstock] at a competitive edge if, and only if, the general population starts thinking and using bitcoin,” he said. “We’re willing to take the first step and see.”

Author note: A small correction was added in the section discussing 3rd-party bitcoin processors. newsBTC originally stated Overstock would not be working with 3rd-parties, but we have corrected this to reflect Mr. Byrne’s statement that the company is not yet certain of how the implementation will happen, exactly.