Overstock's tZERO Subsidiary to Start Releasing Tokens to Investors

  • tZERO, a security token trading platform, has reportedly started giving its shareholders control of tokens they purchased during a public sale last year.
  • tZERO is a subsidiary of online retailer Overstock.com and its portfolio company, Medici Ventures.

tZERO, a security token trading platform, has reportedly started giving its shareholders control of tokens they purchased during a public sale the company completed in August 2018.

$134 Million Generated From Token Sale

tZERO Group Inc., a subsidiary of online retailer Overstock, had informed its investors through an official company letter (sent Thursday) that they would be able to take custody of their tZERO security tokens. Saum Noursalehi, the CEO at tZERO, has outlined the first few steps that are required in order to acquire the tokens.

Notably, tZERO’s token sale had generated $134 million in August last year, and in October the company said that it had completed the issuance of its tokens. However, the tokens had been kept in a custodial wallet until January 10th, and they recently became accessible to investors..

Holding Tokens On "Behalf Of Investors" For 90 Days

Commenting on the token sale and issuance process, Noursalehi explained:

As you are aware, on October 12, 2018 we completed the issuance of the tZERO security tokens. The tokens have been locked up in wallets maintained by tZERO on behalf of our token holders for 90 days following the issuance. Now that the three-month lock-up period has concluded, you must decide where to hold your security tokens.

The letter from tZERO’s management noted that investors can open a brokerage account with any licensed dealer and the Dinosaur Financial Group, one of tZERO’s official partners. tZERO’s investors may also keep the tokens in their crypto wallets, which is secured by two-factor authentication (2FA) and other standard security features.

As mentioned in the company’s letter, investors can “initially choose to hold [the] security tokens in [their] personal wallet, [and] later move [their] tokens into a digital securities brokerage account” which can be opened with Dinosaur Financial. At present, it is unclear when tZERO will start trading the security tokens on its platform. However, the firm’s letter stated: “look out for another tZERO update regarding the commencement of security token trading.”

tZERO Valued At $1.5 Billion

After releasing a prototype of tZERO’s security token trading platform in April 2018, Jonathan Johnson, the company’s head of blockchain development efforts, had told Coindesk in December (of last year) that the production version of the exchange would go live in January 2019.

As CryptoGlobe reported in August 2018, Overstock’s shares had surged after a Chinese firm had announced a $270 Million investment in the online retailer’s tZERO subsidiary. The investment company had also planned to acquire $30 million worth of tZERO security tokens from Overstock.

Last year, tZERO had been valued at around $1.5 billion, meaning that the $270 million investment gave GSR Capital, the China-based investment company, an ownership of 18% of the Overstock subsidiary.

Coinbase Becomes First 'Pure' Crypto Firm to Become Visa Principal Member

Francisco Memoria

San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has become the first “pure” cryptocurrency firm to become a Visa principal member.

The membership was, according to Forbes, officially awarded in December 2019, but it wasn’t revealed to the public until today via a blog post published by the exchange itself. The membership will allow Coinbase to cut expensive middlemen when it comes to the issuance of its debit card, which lets users pay with cryptocurrency wherever Visa is accepted.

Notably, the principal membership also gives coinbase the power to issue debit cards for other companies, although the cryptocurrency exchange claimed it isn’t planning to issue them for others anytime soon. Visa, Forbes reports, has confirmed it granted Coinbase the principal membership, but clarified the firm itself isn’t accepting cryptocurrencies.

Using the membership, Coinbase is set to issue a new version of the Coinbase Visa card, which was initially launched in April 2019 with the financial services firm Paysafe Group Holdings, which charges a fee for its service. This new version could reduce the fees Coinbase’s card is currently charging users as it cuts the middlemen. If fees are reduced, existing card holders will have to re-apply to receive a new card.

Zeeshan Feroz, CEO of Coinbase UK, which received the membership, noted that users’ BTC holdings have always been seen as illiquid “because you have to sell them, you have to go through a process, withdraw the money, and then spend it.” The card’s goal, he said, is to change that:

What the card is trying to change is the mindset that crypto is tucked away, takes two days to access, and can actually now be spent in real time.

The Coinbase Visa card isn’t available to U.S. residents and won’t be in the foreseeable future. It is, however, available in 29 countries including Denmark ,Estonia, France, Germany, Sweden, Spain, and the U.K. IT lets users spend nine cryptocurrencies including bitcoin, ether, bitcoin cash, Brave’s BAT, litecoin, and others.

With the membership, Coinbase could make fees charged to companies outside the cryptocurrency space in payments made with its card a new source of revenue, one that depends less on crypto price fluctuations. Feroz acknowledged it’s a possibility, but revealed it’s currently not a part of the firm’s plan as its “primary focus” is to build its services.

Featured image via Pixabay.