On Thursday, January 23, 2014, Tiger Direct announced they would start accepting bitcoin as an alternative payment method. While Tiger Direct isn’t the first major online retailer to start accepting bitcoins, they are the first major online electronics retailer to do so.
The Tiger Direct website offers over 200,000 products and is a popular shopping destination for PC users. According to Steven Leeds, the marketing chief at Tiger Direct, “With individuals building their own high-powered PCs with parts offered on our site to mine Bitcoins, it’s a logical fit.”
Tiger Direct has already started utilizing this acceptance as an opportunity to market their Bitcoin mining catalog. Tiger Direct has also partnered with AMD in order to offer a variety of mining-friendly graphic cards.
Since their Thursday announcement, Tiger Direct has processed more than $500,000 in Bitcoin payments. These total was spent on over 2500 separate orders. According to Tiger Direct, $250,000 of that was processed in the first 17 hours following their announcement. Overall, the company processes approximately $2 billion in purchases each year.
While they won’t be able to examine the full impact of accepting bitcoins for another three months when their quarterly numbers are posted, the initial reaction is certainly positive. The announcement itself also provided huge boost in web traffic from both their social media networks and the number of blogs that shared the announcement.
Overstock.com was the first major online retailer to start accepting bitcoin as an alternative payment option. There were rumors that electronics website, Newegg, maybe the next to follow suit, but they have yet to make any announcements. Other online companies accepting bitcoin as a payment method include Reddit and OKCupid.
Many global financial leaders have voiced their disapproval of the new cryptocurrency, but their warnings appear to be falling on deaf ears as the popularity of bitcoin continues to grow. It will be interesting to see what the future holds. There is little doubt more online retailers will start accepting bitcoins in order to maintain their competitive edge.