Overstock.com demonstrated a surprisingly high level of commitment to digital currencies Friday with the news that it's planning to offer its employees the option of being paid in bitcoin. The discount online retailer made the announcement in a release about a new bitcoin ATM that it has installed at its corporate headquarters in Salt Lake City. "Moving cryptocurrencies out of the realm of geeks and into the realm of the rest of us requires making changes at all levels of the financial ecosystem," Chief Executive Patrick Byrne said in the release.
Last week, Overstock.com announced that it partnered with Delivery Agent, Inc., a company that converts viewers into customers via its ShopTV t-commerce platform. The partnership will enable consumers with smart TVs and connected device homes to browse and purchase items from Overstock directly from their televisions. Running now through tomorrow, the "Overstocktober" campaign offers viewers the opportunity to purchase products directly from Overstock television commercials, thus extending viewers’ options throughout the buying experience.
Patrick Byrne has relinquished his role as chairman of Overstock.com and Stormy Simon was named president of the online discount retailer. Byrne will continue to serve as CEO while current executive vice chairman Jonathan Johnson assumes the chairman responsibilities Byrne has held since 2006. Johnson's prior responsibilities as corporate secretary will be assumed by Mark Griffin, who serves as senior vice president and general counsel. Simon, who previously served as co-president of the company, was named president and retains her seat on the board, while David Nielsen will continue in his role as co-president.
Overstock.com is now accepting payments in bitcoin, making it the first major online retailer to embrace the increasingly popular but controversial digital currency. Since December, Overstock's free-thinking CEO and Chairman Patrick Byrne has been telling anyone who would listen that his company would adopt bitcoin sometime in the next six months. But Byrne is an impatient man. Last Tuesday, the company struck a deal to handle bitcoin payments through a service operated by the suddenly hot San Francisco startup Coinbase.