Overstock.com to raise funds using ICO
Overstock.com is run by Patrick Byrne, and competes with Amazon as an online retailer. On December 18th, they will be launching an Initial Coin Offering for $250 million. This is the biggest ICO in history and is meant to reshape the business. Overstock is one of the only retailers accepting bitcoin, and their stock has risen with the growth of bitcoin.
Patrick Byrne stated he is considering selling the retail portion of the business to focus on the ten blockchain companies currently owned by Overstock. A joint venture has additionally been formed with Hernando de Soto, the Peruvian economist. The venture is De Soto Incorporated and will use the technology of blockchain to provide land rights to individuals within the developing world by forming a property registry. This is occurring at the same time the Securities and Exchange Commission is tightening security for the ICO industry.
Patrick Byrne is not only not concerned about the security, he supports the crackdown. He has seen numerous people fleeced, and too many individuals making the coins public before a business plan is in place. In 2017, $4 billion was raised with ICO’s. The figure in 2016 was $226 million, and in 2014, $14 million. According to Garrick Hileman of the University of Cambridge, Overstock would be the biggest company to ever launch an ICO. The largest current ICO is a storage data network called Filecoin. In September, they raised approximately $250 million.
Patrick Byrne believes the world will be changed by blockchain, even more so than it was by the internet. He feels if countries like Venezuela and Zimbabwe continue experiencing currency failures, currencies backed by the government will be abandoned by the people. The SEC froze one ICO’s assets while shutting down another earlier in the month. They are continuing to issue warnings regarding protection and regulation to the investors.
Bitcoin is the top cryptocurrency and peaked at over $18,000 on some of the exchanges. According to Patrick Byrne, any company involved in raising funds would be crazy to turn to the market in its current state. He says the market is both distorted and manipulative because the water is filled with sharks who are playing games with people’s stocks. Patrick Byrne earned his Doctorate in Philosophy and has been extremely outspoken about his dislike for the Sith Lords of Wall Street and the naked short sellers. He believes they have unfairly manipulated the share prices of his company.