Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne, a staunch Bitcoin supporter whose e-commerce site began accepting digital currency in January, has held a reddit AMA on Bitcoin’s acceptance and related topics.
Asked about the hesitance of other CEO’s in accepting Bitcoin, he first highlighted the pros and cons in doing such. The business reasons to accept it would be to save on transaction fees, eliminate fraud and chargebacks etc. The only con would be Bitcoin’s volatility, but this should be eliminated if using one of the many integration providers who convert it right back to fiat.
He did not mince words when asked about the economy and its recovery widely believed to be taking place: “No we are not in a recovery. We have re-inflated a bubble and called it a recovery.” He goes on to argue that when factoring for inflation, we are actually in a “shallow dive”- not a “level or small climb”. “The government lies to us about the stats.”
He confirmed to a user from Canada that Bitcoin will soon be accepted for international shipments.
Someone mentioned nxt and asked if he would start accepting it. He responded:
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“I do not know NXT, but I am interested in finding (and even potentially investing in) efforts to create a peer-to-peer capital market. In fact, if a good solution emerges, you might even see Overstock be the first issuer of a stock or bond in such a market, just to help things get going! (Incidentally, we were the first to do a Dutch auction IPO, for precisely that reason.)”
Despite all the attention his company has received for accepting Bitcoin, he openly admitted that the proportion of payments made via Bitcoin as minuscule- only 0.1%. This may be more of a testament though to Overstock’s relatively large sales volume of $1.3 billion last year.
He also touched upon topics related to Wall Street, politics, universities he attended, philosophers and even trading-related matters like naked short selling.
One user simply praised Byrne in that he sounds like a “really cool mega rich person”, to which he responded: “Thanks. If so, it helps that I was a really cool person before I became a rich guy.”
Since accepting bitcoins in January and even disclosing that the company will hold on to a portion, Byrne even expressed openness to accepting Litecoin in the future.