It wasn't that long ago that no one had heard of the digital currency known as bitcoin. Now everyone dealing in the online community not only knows about the currency, they want to try and be the firm that specializes in it.
Online Retail in the 21st Century
Most online retailers, such as Amazon, are still only dealing with traditional currency but a select few have decided to go a different route and take on cryptocurrency. Overstock.com is one such retailer that has attempted to go a different route in order to get a leg up. Since Stormy Simon, Patrick Byrne and company took over the online discount retailer, there have been a number of changes to the way the company does business.
Overstock has been more engaged in social causes such as gay marriage and been more active on social media. It was Byrne's idea to start accepting bitcoin and the company's CEO claims it has been a great success. While recent reports show bitcoin purchases are making up less than 1 percent of its total revenue, the number is rising and the future will likely show exponential growth.
The Expanding Reach of Digital Currency
Online retailers are just one kind of company that has taken up, or is taking a long look at accepting bitcoin as a way to stand out from the competition. It shouldn't come as a surprise that most of the other firms dealing in digital currency are ones that operate almost exclusively online.
Forbes put out a report last year that took a look at the top bitcoin companies in the world and almost all of them only exist online. That doesn't make their impact on the growing reach of bitcoin any less impressive. That reach is actually even more impressive when you look at who is on the list.
WordPress is an online blogging service that most web users know quite well. The company is also the highest ranked company in the world when it comes to accepting the digital currency. Reddit, an online forum that helps stir and support the prevailing winds on the web, is among the top five sites as well.
If you're not real overly interested in blogging or participating in forums, how about meeting that special someone? OKCupid is one of the top dating sites on the web. It's also one of the top five business on the Internet that accepts bitcoin. The company doesn't charge anything for its basic services but did start accepting the digital currency for its bonus features back in April of 2013. Other companies joining the bitcoin parade include a Bittorrent client, a cloud based file server firm and a domain name sales company.
The Long Term Effects of Bitcoin
Whether or not bitcoin is here to stay is still an open question. Not only is the digital currency still frowned upon by some corners of the Internet but It isn't used at all by most people in the general population. Lack of adoption isn't the only drawback to bitcoin. Some investors have attempted to create their own digital currency that would act as a direct competitor to bitcoin. The final negative is the volatility of the market. By the end of 2013, some Wall Street analysts were asking to get paid in the currency, instead of regular old dollars. The value has since slipped and left some wondering whether bitcoin is a sustainable commodity. For now it seems as though only time will tell.