WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 25, 2014) — The Bitcoin Foundation is pleased to announce that Patrick M. Byrne, CEO and Chairman of Overstock.com, will be the keynote speaker at Bitcoin 2014 taking place 15-17 May at the Passenger Terminal Amsterdam. Byrne began to express interest in Bitcoin publicly last December, shortly after U.S. Senate hearings on digital currencies. Since then, Byrne has emerged as a Bitcoin advocate who led Overstock.com’s ground-breaking move to be the first major online retailer to accept bitcoin as payment earlier this year.
“We are delighted to have one of Bitcoin’s most prominent and prescient champions at our conference. Patrick’s decision to accept Bitcoin has introduced it to mainstream society and increased understanding among consumers. It’s going to be a great event; this conference is where visionary technology and mainstream commerce intersects,” said Jon Matonis, Executive Director of the Bitcoin Foundation.
Byrne has been a staunch supporter of Bitcoin, particularly in light of the digital currency’s ability to make commerce more efficient and allow people to transact more freely: “Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency inventions reduce costs for businesses — small or large– and thus enables firms to pass savings onto consumers” Byrne said. “In addition, Bitcoin shares the key virtue of gold: it is a form of money that cannot be easily manipulated or debased by central planners.”
At Bitcoin 2014, Byrne will lay out his vision for the future of Bitcoin: from its potential for global financial inclusion to digitally proving ownership in areas such as stocks or bonds; to the network’s relation to society as a whole.
Overstock.com had over US$100,000 in Bitcoin sales the first day of its partnership with Coinbase, a Bitcoin transaction processor. In December, 2013 Coinbase received US$25 million in venture capital from Andreessen Horowitz, a leading venture capital firm based in Menlo Park, California.
Bitcoin 2014 is the annual international forum, exhibition, and networking conference on financial technology organised by the Bitcoin Foundation. The conference will provide a platform for investors, technologists, regulators, executives, entrepreneurs, developers, and policymakers to collectively shape the future of cryptographic money worldwide. Bitcoin 2014 conference details and reservation information can be found here.