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.

TRON’s Justin Sun Giving Away $1.2 Million for UBI, 50,000 TRX to Telegram Group

Michael LaVere
  • TRON's Justin Sun is supporting US presidential candidate Andrew Yang's UBI by giving $1.2 million to 100 people in 2020.
  • Sun and the TRON Foundation also announced a 50,000 TRX ($75K) giveaway through the official TRON telegram group.

TRON founder Justin Sun has announced that he will be giving away $1.2 million to 100 people next year to support U.S. presidential hopeful Andrew Yang’s universal basic income (UBI) program, in addition to kicking off a 50,000 TRX ($75K) giveaway for users of the cryptocurrency’s Telegram group. 

Sun Supporting Andrew Yang’s UBI

Sun, who paid $4.6 million earlier in the year to host a charity lunch with Warren Buffett, has now pledged to give $1.2 million to 100 people in 2020. TRON's founder also announced that one of the 100 selected for the giveaway will be invited to his charity lunch, which was originally postponed after Sun came down with kidney stones. 

Sun has asked U.S. presidential candidate Andrew Yang for assistance in the selection process. Yang, who has a background in entrepreneurship, has built his campaign upon the idea of universal basic income (UBI), which would guarantee U.S. citizens a monthly stipend. In addition to championing the idea on the campaign trail, Yang has pledged to distribute $1,000 per month to 10 people for the next year. 

Sun has taken the movement a step forward, by pledging to support 100 people at $1000 per month for the entirety of 2020.

TRX Telegram Giveaway

In addition to promoting UBI and Andrew Yang’s cause, Sun also announced the start of a 50,000 TRX giveaway, worth $75K, for community members using TRON's telegram channel. According to tweets published by Sun and the TRON Foundation on Sept. 16, TRON supporters can gain TRX by joining and inviting others to the coin’s official Telegram group. 

In order to qualify for the promotion, users will need to engage in a conversation with the @TRONEnBot through the telegram application. From there, the TRX payout will be tied to the number of invited users who join the Telegram group. The first and second place prize are worth 5000 and 2500 TRX, respectively, with the remaining 32,500 TRX being split among the rest of users.

Featured Image Credit: Photo via Pixabay.com