Patrick Byrne, CEO of Overstock, an online retail store, told The Wall Street Journal, on Friday, that he plans on selling Overstock’s retail business in a deal expected to wrap up by February 2019.
The reason behind this is so that he can focus 100% on blockchain technology which he has previously invested heavily in.
As the CEO of Overstock, he led the company’s investment in Medici Ventures, which invests in companies in the blockchain space.
Some notable startups under the Medici Ventures umbrella include tZero, a platform for trading security tokens.
Another company, Voatz, ran a blockchain-based pilot with West Virginia that allowed military personnel serving overseas to cast their votes in the midterm elections through a smartphone app.
Not necessarily profitable
Medici lost $39 million through the first nine months of 2018, following a $22 million loss in 2017. (All told, Overstock lost $163.7 million through the first nine months of 2018.)
He said about 60 outside parties are developing their own security tokens, with plans to list them on tZero, and 2,000 other companies have asked about possibly issuing tokens as well.
“An argument can be made that tZero has more building blocks today than ever before,” said DA Davidson analyst Tom Forte, who has a buy rating and $112 price target on the stock. But, he added, “they haven’t shown that the building blocks are engaged in meaningful short-term revenue.”
“I don’t care whether tZero is losing $2 million a month,” Mr. Byrne said in an interview. “We think we’ve got cold fusion on the blockchain side.”
Overstock was one of the early adopters in terms of accepting bitcoin on their website. It’s good to see that successful entrepreneurs are betting on the blockchain. This will help the blockchain ecosystem evolve and achieve worldwide adoption.