Many merchants and non-profit groups accept bitcoin these days, but some of them convert the digital currency into fiat reserves immediately after receiving bitcoin; oftentimes to avoid volatility. However, two well-known organizations, Overstock.com and the Internet Archive (Wayback Machine) recently revealed in their earnings reports they are hedging bitcoin to make some nice profits and to see how the grand experiment works.
The Wayback Machine Recalls Accepting Bitcoin Donations in 2012 and Hodling
The Internet Archive is a San Francisco–based non-profit that aims to provide “universal access to all knowledge” with its library of digitized content and a vast amount of recorded web pages. The portal was founded in 1996 by Brewster Kahle and has a collection of over 15 petabytes of data. Operating as a 501(c)(3) non-profit, the Internet Archive has accepted bitcoin donations since 2012. This week Kahle decided to explain to the public in a blog post why bitcoin remains a fixture in the nonprofit’s balance sheet.
“A foundation was curious as to why we have Bitcoin on our balance sheet, and I thought I would explain it publicly,” explains Kahle. “The Internet Archive explores how bitcoin and other Internet innovations can be useful in the non-profit sphere – this is part of it. We want to see how donated bitcoin can be used, not just sold off.”
Not Cashing In for Dollars
Kahle goes on to reminisce on how the organization began accepting bitcoin and notes that they paid a few employees with it for a few years. At one time one-third of the team that worked for the Internet Archive opted to get bitcoins in their salary. In 2013 the non-profit’s founder added a bitcoin ATM for the website as well.
“A few years later, the price had gone up so much, I personally bought some at the going rate to decrease financial risk to the Internet Archive, but then I did not just cash those in for dollars,” the web archive’s founder explains.
What we are doing is trying to “play the game” and see how it works for non-profits. It is not an investment for us, it is testing a technology in an open way. If you want to see the donations to us in bitcoin, they are here.
Overstock Sees Nice Gains in the Coin Department
Another organization who is hedging bitcoin this year is Overstock.com. At the beginning of August the company’s CEO, Patrick Byrne revealed it is currently stashing fifty percent of its bitcoin revenue. Byrne has been long-time bitcoin proponent and believes the technology behind the decentralized currency will be the future of finance. During a budget report, Byrne revealed the business used to keep 10 percent of the daily bitcoin revenue the company earned and converted the rest of the funds to USD. Now Byrne details that the corporation’s board of directors has authorized a strategy to hold fifty percent of the firm’s bitcoin revenue. The Overstock founder also hinted to hedging other digital assets during the meeting.
“I mean we can keep it either in Bitcoin or in some assortment of crypto-securities,” explains Byrne during the company’s earnings report. “So you’ll see a portfolio emerge there. We’ve had there — had some good luck with some of our — we’ve been storing some coins from counterparties for a couple of years, and they’ve grown up nicely.”
Anyway, we have some nice gains in the coin department.
With bitcoin increasing over 600 percent since last January, companies and non-profits who opt to hedge bitcoin revenue are probably doing pretty well. Further, Overstock just announced this month it was accepting a variety of altcoins, so it will be interesting to see if the firm continues to diversify its portfolio. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are becoming extremely valuable assets and may benefit an organization’s yearly budget a great deal.