Lendingblock Partners With Vo1t to Provide Cryptoasset Custody

Lendingblock, the securities lending exchange for cryptoassets, today announces that it has partnered with cryptoassets custodian Vo1t to provide a military-grade cold storage capability for its institutional lending exchange.

Vo1t will support Lendingblock’s platform by offering a 24/7 global custody service that will ensure funds are kept in high security cold storage while still being accessible within 30 minutes by Lendingblock and clients. Importantly, clients’ funds are kept segregated, preventing the commingling of assets and maintaining transparency around how a client’s assets are being handled and stored.

Funds will only be transferred out of cold storage to be sent back to the borrower upon loan maturity or liquidated and sent to the lender in the event of loan default.

Charlie Beach, Chief Operating Officer at Lendingblock said,

We’ve conducted an extensive review of custodial providers, and we chose Vo1t because we believe they are an industry leader in providing an insured and secure, multi-asset custodian system that meets our primary goal of protecting our clients’ assets. Vo1t’s ability to release funds rapidly further provides our clients with the flexibility required to carry fast transactions through our platform. Lendingblock’s partnership with Vo1t signifies a significant step towards building the robust market and financial infrastructure necessary to bring further institutional participants to use digital asset lending as part of their daily investment strategies.

Miles Parry, CEO at Vo1t said:

We are delighted to be working with Lendingblock, as they bring the benefits of securities lending to crypto institutions through their professional digital assets lending exchange. The decision recognises Vo1t’s strong commitment to providing the utmost safety security measures taken on behalf of clients’ digital funds.

Vo1t’s features include extreme security measures such as multiple layers of encryption of private keys, geographic distribution of private keys, thermal, vibration and motion detection, Faraday shielding to prevent against wireless infiltrations, 24/7 patrols and alarm monitoring with police response.

Under the partnership funds transferred to Lendingblock and secured by Vo1t are covered by a dedicated crypto assets insurance programme.

Overstock CEO Sells Shares in His Company to Invest in Blockchain Projects

Patrick Byrne, the chief executive officer of Overstock.com (OSTK), has recently lashed out at investors who questioned his sale of 900,000 of his ‘founders shares’ in the company. Justifying his move, he revealed he needed the funds to invest in blockchain projects.

According to Business Insider, Byrne recently sent a letter to shareholders after the company’s stock prices plunged over 21% this week to their lowest since 2012, after he revealed he sold 500,000 of his shares earlier this week.

On Friday, the CEO revealed he sold an additional 400,000 shares, meaning he sold over 15% of his stake in the company. Although Overstock’s shares recovered on Friday, May 17, Byrne’s letter to shareholders was notable. In it, he wrote:

I simply had to supplement my nominal salary with stock sales in order to fulfill personal commitments to invest personally in blockchain projects such as Medici Land Governance, along with a need to meet charitable pledges.

The CEO added that he doesn’t plan on giving such an explanation again, justifying that he owes shareholders “staying within the law and not making decisions based on inside information, not explanations of my life and projects outside Overstock.”

He noted that the “unanticipated stir” caused by his sale was unexpected, and added “I had no idea that shareholders would demand explanations of why and how I might want to use my cash derived from my labor and my property to pursue my ends in life.”

Byrne is notably Overstock’s largest shareholder, and noted he told investors a year ago he would be making “significant sales” to fund different projects, including those related to blockchain technologies and, presumably, cryptocurrencies.

In fact, the libertarian sold 775,000 of his shares in September of last year, before this week’s sale. The stock’s price has fallen roughly 90% from its record high in January of 2018, when Overstock was benefitting from its cryptocurrency ventures and accompanying the cryptocurrency market’s performance.

In November of last year, Byrne revealed he had plans to sell Overstock’s retail business and go “all-in” on cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. The CEO’s plan would see the company focus on its fully-owned subsidiary Medici Ventures, which has been invested in blockchain-related startups, after selling its retail business.

Overstock's price performance over the last two yearsSource: Yahoo Finance

Byrne has notably been battling short sellers targeting Overstock, as the firm competes with the likes of eBay and Amazon. Financial analytics firm S3 Partners has estimated short bets against it stand at $157 million, or 50% of its float. This makes it more targeted by short sellers than 99% of companies in the U.S.

Despite the company’s performance on exchanges, Overstock has since launched its tZERO security trading platform, and was one of the first companies to pay a “portion” of its taxes using bitcoin in Ohio.