Bitcoin

Overstock.com's First Day Accepting Bitcoin Brings in Bucks

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I do need a new area rug …

Wait, can we refer to bitcoins as "bucks"? Are those only used in reference to American dollars?

Anyway, popular consumer retail site Overstock.com just started accepting bitcoins to purchase all sorts of home and electronic goods. How did they do in their first day? Wired took a look:

In its first 22 hours accepting the digital currency, Overstock tells us, it accepted 800 orders in bitcoin, and they were worth a total of about $126,000. The company nabbed $5,000 in bitcoin orders in the first 30 minutes alone, and about $10,000 in the first two hours. That's not an enormous haul, but judging from the company's yearly revenue, it could be as much as 4 percent of its average daily sales, and it shows there's a vibrant bitcoin community that's interested not only in using the digital currency as an investment, but in actually spending it. That will be crucial to the future of this still very young technology.

Certainly, some just wanted to try out the new Overstock system. Others wanted to show the company how pleased they were that it had made the move. But all were uploading real funds, and many are interested in regularly spending their bitcoins, not just hoarding them in the hopes that their value with continue to rise.

Ben Doernberg, a 24-year from New York City, bought a screen projector for his cell phone just after Overstock flipped the bitcoin switch. "I wanted to express my appreciation to them for stepping up," he says. "[And] I thought I might be the first one to buy from them, which would be cool." But he aims to spend his bitcoin more often, having invested in the digital currency since May of last year.

Read the full story here.

Wired reports that one customer even used bitcoins to purchase a $2,700 13-piece set of patio furniture. I wonder who will be the first to furnish an entire home with goods purchased with bitcoins, assuming that hasn't already happened.

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    1. Also of interest from that website:
      Who gets the royalties from Mein Kampf today?

  1. “Wait, can we refer to bitcoins as “bucks”? Are those only used in reference to American dollars?”

    I think American dollars are important only relative to the real value of buck skins.

    Question: They’re not really gonna cap the number of bitcoins for reals, are they?

    If they do, eventually bitcoins are gonna be priced like shares in Berkshire Hathaway.

    1. Yes but, you can work with it down to 8 decimal places.

      1. Well that helps!

        God bless ’em.

        1. And to clarify and add to what SweatingGin said below: It’s not meant to be “forevercoin”. Because it’s open source anyone can use the code to make their own, advance the idea and system. Ideally there’d be several widely accepted in various stages of life, and value, giving people options between stability and risk. You know that whole competing currencies thing.

          1. I’m not convinced that there is much room for other competing crypto currencies. Seems like the network effect will be too strong. A lot of folks are predicting 10-15% for Lite Coin and others — I’m thinking more like 2 or 3%

            I think the only way people switch away from BTC is some wildly better feature set that is impossible to implement.

            Not that I don’t want to see competing currencies, just that currencies are one thing that tends to go monoplizing.

            1. I totally agree that there’s little room for altchain currencies. They’re just not really differentiated from Bitcoin which has a huge network effect/first mover advantage. However, I think Bitcoin has a lot of room for things like Zerocoin, or Ripple or OpenTransaction; that are either complementary or even just extensions to the bitcoin protocol. I also believe that a credit system will eventually be built to extend it though I know of no realistic, concrete examples on the horizon. Bitcoin is a pretty low-level network protocol for a digital money stack and will naturally spur higher levels on the stack to be built.

    2. Yup, algorithm stops making more around 2140. 21 million, and that’s all.

      Decimal places could be expanded with a reasonable software change, although adding more bitcoins couldn’t be done.

      1. No wonder there’s a race to mine the suckers.

        1. Doesn’t matter — every 2016 blocks the difficulty adjusts so that the *next* set of 2016 blocks average 10 minutes apart. Every two weeks (ish).

          So even if you race ahead and mine 2016 blocks real quick, difficulty will adjust, and the next 2016 blocks will take 2 weeks.

          Also, in 2016 (the year), rate on new blocks goes from 25 to 12.5 (every 10 minutes).

      2. Couldn’t be done, as in impossible? It’s just software so in what sense would it be impossible to tweak the protocol to change the maximum number?

        1. If you make an incompatible change to the software, some people mine on the new version, some on the old, so the blockchain forks. Whichever fork is longer (that is valid by what your version of the software says) wins.

          So, if you make a change to the protocol like that, you need to convince 51% of the mining power to run that version. If it’s a version that creates more coins than previously thought, it makes the existing ones worth less (potentially zero, I’d argue). So, good luck convincing miners to go along with that.

          On the other hand, a change to the protocol to allow more decimal places is a matter of what transactions are accepted. If it came be proposed (ie, was needed), it would probably be accepted without much controversy.

  2. Roll with it dude, roll with it.

    http://www.AnonPlanet.tk

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