Overstock to Sell Its Retail Business and Go 'All-in’ on Crypto: Report

Francisco Memoria

Cryptocurrency-friendly firm Overstock is reportedly planning on selling its decades-old retail business in the near future, so it can go ‘all-in’ on cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. The sale could happen as soon as February.

According to CNBC, Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne has recently revealed its plan to focus on its fully-owned subsidiary Medici Ventures, which has been investing in blockchain-related startups. The CEO founded Overstock back in 1999 to sell goods online.

Byrne refused to name any potential buyers for its retail business – which has been accepting cryptocurrencies since 2014 – and noted it doesn’t matter if the subsidiary he’s betting on has been losing money.

Per the report, Overstock, a Salt Lake City-based firm, has invested $175 million into Medici, which lost $39 million in the first three quarters of this year, and about $22 million last year. Overstock itself has lost $163 million so far this year.

Nevertheless, Byrne is betting on cryptos and blockchain. tZero, a trading platform that hasn’t yet launched commercially, is part of the bet. Commenting on it, the CEO stated:

I don't care whether tZero is losing $2 million a month. We think we've got cold fusion on the blockchain side.

Medici Ventures, the report adds, has invested in startups that go beyond cryptocurrencies. Some use blockchain technology to work on a voting system, and others on property rights. As CryptoGlobe covered, it has even invested $6 million on decentralized social network Minds.

While Byrne has claimed Overstock itself barely owns any bitcoin, its stock price has seemingly been mirroring that of the flagship cryptocurrency. Late last year it reached a high of nearly $90, and was recently trading under $20 before the ‘all-in’ move was announced.

As press time, Overstock shares are trading at $20.9, according to Yahoo Finance data.

Overstock surged on Byrne's move to sell its retail business

Bitcoin itself reached a high of nearly $20,000 late last year, and is currently trading at little under $4,300 after falling 4.19% in the last 24-hour period, according to CryptoCompare data. Overstock’s CEO Byrne is notably a staunch believer in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, so much so his firm was one of the first major ones to accept crypto payments.

Notably, Byrne has earlier this year claimed the modern financial system is a Ponzi scheme, and that its collapse will bring forth the global adoption of cryptocurrencies.