Overstock.com, the retail furniture merchant, has decided to switch businesses and focus on cryptocurrencies in the coming new year. Its founder and CEO, Patrick Byrne, announced they will be selling their retail side of the business in order to put all their resources behind their cryptocurrency investment group, Medici Ventures.
Overstock.com Going Full Crypto
Overstock.com, the once blooming online retailer revealed it will be abandoning its signature business to pursue a more digital path. Patrick Byrne, the founder and CEO, announced plans in a recent New York Times article. He said sale of the retail division would be ready by February, but did not comment on the possible buyers or the price of the business.
The company already has a blockchain startup, Medici Ventures. However, since their founding in 2015, their first investment, tZero, has not been released commercially and has been burning money at an alarming rate.
Despite all this, Byrne thinks blockchain and cryptocurrencies are the future of fintech. He is very confident about the possibilities of blockchain, declaring, “I don’t care whether tZero is losing $2 million a month. We think we’ve got cold fusion on the blockchain side.”
Stock Pricing Surges on tZero Bet
The announcement was received pretty well by Wall Street, causing its stock price to rise 26%. It was a welcome sight, as Overstock.com’s stock price had been suffering since January, losing more than 70%.
The company’s ups and downs once followed that of the crypto market, as Overstock.com was considered an early adopter of online crypto payments for goods such as furniture and electronics. Both rose and eventually fell together through last year’s price run up to the current extended crypto Winter, bear market.
Startup tZero is a startup up reportedly focusing on trading of security tokens, basically an exchange for such digital assets. A major stumbling block for the business model appears to be a lack of real-world versions of such tokens, as many projects have yet to be brought to market.
“An argument can be made that tZero has more building blocks today than ever before,” Tom Forte told the Wall Street Journal, an analyst giving the project a “buy” rating. Medici Ventures has diversified by investing capital in other blockchain startups, including SiteHelix, Bitsy, Chainstone Labs, and Voatz.
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