After exploring with the blockchain, the 20 year old company is going all in crypto by the 1Q of the next year. According to reports from The Wall Street Journal, CEO Patrick Byrne wants to sell the retail arm of Overstock by February.
Overstock aims to offer its old retail business for sale in the following couple of months to clear a path for a full bet on blockchain technology.
The project aims to build a trading platform and is supported, among others by billionaire VC fund Tim Draper.
“We think we’ve got cold fusion on the blockchain side,” he says.
The CEO disclosed to The Wall Street Journal in a report distributed Friday that the deal could be concluded by February. Known for his belief on the technology that supports bitcoin and other digital currencies he refused to name any of the potential purchasers.
Shares of Overstock went up by 26% on Friday, however, the stock is down by 66% this year.
Overstock was founded by Byrne in 1999 to sell products like furniture and jewelry on the web. He’s presently betting the fate of the company on many blockchain new companies through its fully owned subsidiary called Medici Ventures.
The Midvale-based company has put $175 million in Medici, which has been losing money since its creation in 2014. Overstock itself is in the red, with a net loss of $163 million in the Q1, Q2, and Q3 of this current year.
One of its best-known new businesses, tZero, an exchanging framework that hasn’t launched officially, is likewise losing money.
Speaking for The Wall Street Journal Byrne said:
“I don’t care whether tZero is losing $2 million a month, We think we’ve got cold fusion on the blockchain side.”
Medici houses new companies that go beyond the concept of just cryptocurrency. One organization Voatz, runs blockchain-based voting through a cell phone app while another startup is exploring the idea of digital property rights in Rwanda.
Despite the Overstock CEO told shareholders in September that Overstock does not have in possession big amount of bitcoin, the company share price has been firmly connected to that of bitcoin. Amid the cryptocurrency peak to almost $20,000 a year ago, Overstock shares went up by 400% in January 2018. Trading around $80. The stock price following the downside of the crypto market fell to $21 as of Friday evening.
Bitcoin itself was changing hands around $4,200 on Friday, down 78% compared to the all-time high reached in December 2017.
While many Wallstreet CEOs and important figures consistently attack bitcoin like Warren Buffet and Jamie Dimon, the technology behind it is more accepted by companies and financial institutions like IBM, Amazon, Deloitte, Facebook Bank of America, J.P. Morgan, Master Card etc. These companies are trying to adopt the technology in a way or another.