This bear phase of cryptocurrency market is looking like one of the most weird bear phases ever. On one hand we have Bitcoin and other major cryptocurrencies dropping sharply to record lows amid rampant sell-off by panicked traders and investors, and on the other hand there’re institutional investors and other billion-dollar enterprises betting their money on crypto. Now surprisingly one more billion-dollar company that supported crypto since early days is doubling down on its crypto-compassion.
That’s true. Overstock.com, the US based e-tailer, which made the news by becoming first major online retailer to accept cryptocurrencies, has announced that it’s selling its whole retail business to focus solely on cryptocurrencies! Now that’s a really bold move for a company worth billions of dollars, especially when considering the current climate of cryptocurrency markets.
The intention to sell its retail business was announced by Overstock.com on Saturday. Company’s CEO Patrick Byrne indicated during an interview to Wall Street Journal that the company intends to finalize a deal soon to sell the retail business. Recalling the move to start accepting cryptocurrencies on Overstock.com he said:
“We were the first. The largest company accepting Bitcoin then was an $800,000 a year restaurant diner in Western Australia. We stepped up and started taking it — we were $1.4 billion.”
That was in 2014. Now 4 years later Overstock wants to take its passion for cryptocurrencies to a new level by completely changing the dynamics of its business. The company plans to find a buyer for its retail business very soon and close the deal by February itself. Once closed, the company will focus on Medici Ventures, which is the DLT venture of company with “several multi-billion dollar properties” in Mr. Byrne’s words.
A major venture of Medici Ventures is the Tzero project, which aims to be an exchange for security token offerings. Overstock is betting big on it, though it’s burning millions of dollars per month even before its launch. But Mr. Byrne doesn’t give a damn to that burn rate – he believes that Tzero is worth it! During the interview he said:
“I don’t care whether Tzero is losing $2 million a month. We think we’ve got cold fusion on the blockchain side.”
Besides Tzero Medici Ventures also has its money invested in Bitsy, Chainstone Labs, Ripio and many other DLT companies. However, despite the multibillion dollar predictions of Mr. Byrne this subsidiary is currently losing money in the range of $35-$40 million per quarter.
It will be interesting to see who acquires Overstock.com now (and whether it remains crypto-friendly post acquisition or not).