Overstock.com (NASDAQ:OSTK) began accepting bitcoin as a form of payment in January 2014, becoming the first major retailer to allow these forms of cryptocurrency.
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Crypto payments now make up more than $100,000 of Overstock’s weekly transactions. The prices of bitcoin have skyrocketed to over $16,000 in recent months, up more than 1,600% in the last year.
“What I saw was the thing that was underneath bitcoin, this invention called blockchain. It’s going to change the world. It’s bigger than the internet. I wanted familiarization with it, so I started accepting bitcoin so that I could get a team of developers to learn about it,” Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne said during an interview with FOX Business’ Charles Payne on Wednesday.
Along with accepting cryptocurrencies, Byrne has also started a new venture into Initial Coin Offering (ICO) with his company tZero, which he says is the only ICO in the world compliant with Security and Exchange Commission standards.
“Basically there is the conventional world that you know and then there is this new universe created of bitcoin, of cryptocurrencies, of things built on the blockchain. We are developing basically a wormhole between the two universes,” Byrne said. “We have a great foot in this world. We’re developing these different bitcoin and blockchain applications. We want to become the toll bridge, the wormhole between the universes.”
Bitcoin is the oldest, largest and most popular cryptocurrency, which Byrne says is “the most important change in 6,000 civilizations of technology.”