Overstock.com CEO Exploring Sale To Fund Blockchain-Backed Global Property Venture

Wednesday, December 13, 2017
By Paul Martin

by Tyler Durden
Dec 13, 2017

It’s fairly easy to categorize Patrick Byrne, the founder of Overstock.com, as a visionary, although he is usually described in less glowing terms in the mainstream media, a typical adjective being “controversial”. Byrne founded the $1.4 billion internet retailer of mainly “closeout” merchandise in 1997. In January 2014, Overstock became the first major online retailer to accept Bitcoin in payment for goods. Byrne explained how he became an advocate of cryptocurrencies in an interview with Adam Taggart of PeakProsperity.com.

In the 1980s, I was a graduate student at Stanford in philosophy, but with a heavy quantitative and logic approach. I studied the mathematics that underlies cryptography. It’s called computation theory. It was a fascinating field, probably the only religious experience I’ve ever had in my life. I felt like I was seeing the face of God — I loved it. So, in about 2012, I was reading Fast Company or Wired, and I saw this blurb about this new form of money that no government was behind, based on cryptography. And, I realized, Gee, this is like an application of that math I’d studied 30 years earlier. Someday I want Overstock.com to be one of the first companies to take it.

In 2017, Overstock’s share price has more than doubled due to its blockchain investments rather than its online retailing activities, which have seen it categorised as a cryptocurrency “play”. Blockchain investments are contained in its Medici Ventures business and include a digital currency trading platform tZero. As the Financial Times notes.

Medici’s most closely watched bet is tZERO, a regulation compliant exchange geared towards initial coin offerings, which has been touted as Wall St meets blockchain. It will launch its own much-hyped initial coin offering to raise funds next week.

On Monday, Overstock’s share price surged 23% after Morgan Stanley Investment Management disclosed an 11.4% stake in the company.

The Rest…HERE

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