Bitcoin-friendly online retailer Overstock.com expects to formally begin selling bitcoin through its website in the first half of 2019, the company has revealed.
Such functionality will be offered through Bitsy, a crypto wallet and portfolio company of Medici Ventures, Overstock’s blockchain-focused subsidiary which currently has investments deployed in 18 separate ventures.
In an interview with Forbes, Patrick Byrne, founder, and CEO of Overstock announced Bitsy’s beta launch and emphasized that the roadmap is to fully integrate the wallet into the Overstock website by early next year.
“We will be offering this through Overstock,” he said. “Expect us to be offering bitcoin by Q1 or Q2 of next year.”
While the announcement comes with crypto markets in a rocky state, Byrne shrugged off such concerns and stressed that Overstock’s commitment to crypto surpasses any short-term woes – likening the turbulence to the early days of the internet.
The initial beta release of the technology will support bitcoin purchases, with additional cryptocurrencies to follow soon. Unlike other wallet providers which do not let users actually hold their coins by using only derivative claims on coins owned by the provider, Bitsy users hold the actual real bitcoins and have complete control over their funds, including the ability to move or spend cryptocurrency. Biometric security insures against hacks and lost passwords. In the event a wallet is lost or destroyed, Bitsy’s key recovery system offers a unique and revolutionary way to recover funds.
Medici Ventures parent company, Overstock.com, which has accepted bitcoin since January 2014 and today accepts dozens of cryptocurrencies, plans to use the Bitsy service to offer bitcoin for sale on the Overstock website.
“Bitsy sets a new standard for cryptocurrency wallets. It is a game-changer because it gives users the freedom that bitcoin has always promised,” said Patrick Byrne, CEO, and founder of Overstock.com. “This new Bitsy wallet has an extraordinary advantage in convenience versus anything currently on the market. In addition to setting a new standard for cryptocurrency wallets, integrating with Bitsy will allow Overstock to take the next step in its cryptocurrency journey by allowing the company to offer bitcoin for sale directly from the retail website.”
“At Bitsy, we want to make bitcoin so easy that anyone can use it,” added Ann-Marie Hopkins, CEO of Bitsy. “We are excited to have Medici Ventures and Overstock as partners in our efforts to broaden the adoption of cryptocurrency.”
Medici Ventures is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Overstock.com founded in 2014 to strategically invest in companies applying blockchain technology to industries where it can democratize capital, eliminate middlemen and rehumanize commerce.