For those hoping to buy real goods with bitcoin, Overstock.com is still the biggest game in town, and a new CEO profile by Forbes's Kashmir Hill helps explain the story behind the early adoption and the company's newfound devotion to cryptocurrency. With new Bitcoin reward programs and plans for a Bitcoin-like stock market, CEO Patrick Byrne's devotion to Bitcoin goes far beyond a simple business opportunity. "I want to be able to pay vendors and employees in Bitcoin too if they choose," Byrne told Hill. "I’m doing this because I want to further the cause of Bitcoin."
According to Byrne, Overstock has now done $870,000 in Bitcoin business, with over $100,000 coming on just the first day. More surprising is that Byrne is personally holding several million dollars in bitcoin, converted from gold to serve as a safety net against price swings in conventional currencies. "I’m holding it like I hold gold," Byrne says. "I want a robust safety net as things play out. I’ve always had misgivings about fiat currencies. Gold was the answer but it doesn’t translate as well in the digital age."