Brief panic set in Monday after reports on social media that pioneering Bitcoin merchant Overstock had stopped accepting the virtual currency.
Also read: Overstock.com to Take the Bitcoin Blockchain Public in ‘Matter of Weeks’
Overstock Agent ‘Confused’
A screenshot of an alleged conversation with an Overstock service representative called “Hilton” showed him stating to a customer that Bitcoin was no longer an option “due to the exchange rate […] provided by our partner, Coinbase”.
It is unclear whether further information was given, while Reddit users were already calling the transcript a fake after it surfaced.
“[It’s] not true. i just talked to a supervisor in marketing,” user u/zoolanderz wrote in response to the screenshot uploaded by u/randyclemens.
Overstock Director of Communications Judd Bagley meanwhile confirmed that the news was “not true,” but stopped short of stating the conversation was a fake.
“What he said,” Bagley wrote responding to another comment stating the company “still takes bitcoin and they believe in it more than most corporations.” He added:
Bitcoin remains in our DNA. And on our checkout page.
In emailed comments to Bitcoin.com, Bagley confirmed that “the reports on social media over the weekend that we had discontinued bitcoin were erroneous.”
On Twitter Monday, he additionally described the customer agent as “confused” and confirmed that Bitcoin “remains a payment option.”
— Randy Clemens (@RandyClemensEsq) May 23, 2016
No U-Turn in Sight
While the remarks allegedly made by an overstock employee – if real – are curious, the idea of Overstock dropping Bitcoin at this stage in its relationship with the currency seems far-fetched.
The company’s longevity in the crypto arena, coupled with its recent successful lobbying of the US Securities and Exchanges Commission to sell its stock using the Bitcoin blockchain, make a considerable statement about the company’s long-term plans with Bitcoin.
Founder and regular CEO Patrick Bryne, at the time and still currently on leave for medical reasons, last month gave extensive comments to a CATO Institute podcast on how the blockchain will change business.
“With the blockchain, we can now have a system where we can do consensual peer-to-peer exchange,” he said.
“What that means is there are currently these legacy institutions that civilization has accumulated for thousands of years […] that provide that centralized trust mechanism that we don’t need anymore.”
Bryne also reiterated comments that in terms of Bitcoin acceptance at Overstock, even a 5% customer base using the currency to make purchases would force Amazon to follow suit.
“Amazon’s going to have to take it, so ultimately it’s going to be demand-driven,” he said.
For the foreseeable future, it appears Overstock’s sights are set firmly on blockchain innovation and gaining a market stronghold on Bitcoin shopping among major retailers.
What do you think about Overstock’s Bitcoin policy? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of www.bizmology.hoovers.com and www.blockchain-finance.c