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Does It Make Any Sense for to Accept Bitcoin?

Right now, merchants seem to accept Bitcoin for three main reasons: They want press coverage, they’re libertarian fellow travelers, or they’re selling drugs. Assuming that last one doesn’t apply to, its announcement that it will begin accepting Bitcoin by mid-2014 seems to be some mix of the first two reasons. The online retailer, whose 2012 revenue totaled $1.1 billion, is the largest yet to jump on the Bitcoin bandwagon.

Patrick Byrne, Overstock’s chief executive, says the decision to accept Bitcoin is based half on his personal beliefs and half on the conviction that it’s a sensible business decision. In essence, he’s trying to lead mainstream merchants toward Bitcoin by adopting it himself.