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News: TigerDirect.com to begin accepting Bitcoin

TigerDirect.com announced Thursday that it  will be accepting Bitcoin, a peer-to-peer digital currency, as a method of payment on over 200,000 products. The Miami-based company said it is the first major U.S. electronics retailer and largest company to date to accept the digital currency Bitcoin via BitPay.

TigerDirect, a subsidiary of Systemax, will begin accepting Bitcoin immediately  for online sales, the company said.

After several months of reviewing the options for processing Bitcoin, TigerDirect chose BitPay to transact Bitcoin payments on its website.   TigerDirect will not only accept the digital currency as payment, but will also sell the computer components used to mine the currency as well.  “We’ve partnered with AMD to build the largest assortment of mining graphic cards from Sapphire, MSI, VisionTek, Diamond and XFX in the industry,”  said Steven Leeds, director of corporate marketing at TigerDirect. Leeds also said the company will also soon offer the Butterfly Labs Bitcoin Mining Machine.

Customers will be able to utilize Bitcoin as payment on both the desktop and mobile  websites. “With individuals building their own high-powered PCs with parts offered on our site to mine Bitcoins, it’s a logical fit,” said Leeds.

Retailer acceptance of the Bitcoin has been rapidly accelerating, with hundreds of small businesses accepting them as currency, particularly in California. Earlier this month, OverStock.com announced it would be accepting Bitcoin using another service, Coinbase. Though controversial and subject to big price swings -- Bitcoin traded above $1,000 earlier this year before falling back to about $825 now -- Bitcoin’s attraction is that it cuts out the government or banking middleman. Buyers and sellers of Bitcoins can deal with one another using direct deposits into electronic wallets.

In South Florida this week, hundreds of Bitcoin enthusiasts, retailers and financial, government and technology experts will gather at the North American Bitcoin Conference in Miami Beach. The conference is Saturday and Sunday at the Miami Beach Convention Center and begins with a party at the Clevelander open to all on Friday night. The Bitcoin debate will also take the stage at next Thursday’s monthly event titled “Tech and the Future of Money” presented by Refresh Miami, South Florida’s largest tech group.

 Posted Jan. 23, 2014