BTC For Joop
With over $100 USD worth of BTC in my mobile Airbitz wallet, I was jonesing to experience my first exchange of BTC for material goods. So I moseyed on over to overstock.com and started browsing around. I settled on purchasing my fave cologne, Joop! Homme.
I placed the item in my shopping cart and continued on to the checkout counter. As expected, the option to use BTC as payment for my French shower soap appeared right alongside the other “normal” methods of payment.
After selecting bitcoin as my payment choice, I continued on to the next page where the only info I had to provide was my name, phone number, and shipping address. So I entered the info, clicked “continue“, and was presented with this payment page:
Note that overstock.com was requesting 97.461 BTC millibits from me. Also note that the bottom of the dialog box conveys the fact that overstock.com employs the service of coinbase.com to exchange BTC for USD – which is waaaay less costly for their business to use than using the Visa/Mastercard, or Paypal platforms.
Next, I opened the Airbitz wallet and pointed my phone’s camera at the QR code on the screen. The app focused in on, snapped a picture of, and decoded the graphic QR request for payment. I then entered my wallet’s pin and the transaction was executed.
As you can see, 97.368 millibits were deducted from my wallet and sent to overstock’s coinbase account. I don’t understand why the amount deducted from my wallet was 93 microbits (approx .03 USD) less than the amount requested by overstock, but I suspect it had to do with the USD/BTC exchange rate?
After acknowledging the payment, overstock.com completed the checkout process by presenting me with the following screen:
So that was it; a fast, painless, and secure transaction. Since I didn’t have to disclose any credit card info to overstock.com, I don’t have to worry about them getting hacked in the future (ala Target, Home Depot, etc) and getting my credit card info stolen from their servers. It’s a win for overstock.com (lower transaction cost), a win for the government (sales tax collected), and a win for me (no credit card theft worries).
The future is already here — it’s just not very evenly distributed – William Gibson