Despite market conditions, there is no shortage of belief in the viability of blockchain. Week after week, partnerships are made, and new products ramp up development. One notable move has taken place just recently. Patrick Byrne has indicated that he will be shifting his priority and focus from Overstock.com to tZERO. This shift will see the sale of the retail side of Overstock.com. The plan is expected to come to fruition by February of 2019, as they line up potential buyers.
A subsidiary of Overstock.com, tZERO is a blockchain based platform. The primary goal of the company is to develop and launch various securities exchanges around the globe. Through these exchanges, investors will gain access to more efficient means of investing, alongside increased liquidity and transparency.
tZERO recently made waves in August, when they announced GSR Capital had invested roughly $300 million into their operations. In return, GSR capital received an 18% stake in tZERO, as well as $30 million worth of TZROP tokens.
In the summer of 2018, tZERO was able to successfully raise $134 million USD through a security token offering. This STO saw accredited investors purchase TZROP tokens, with each representing fractionalized ownership in the tZERO platform.
At the time of the STO, tZERO CEO, Saum Noursalehi, commented on the proceedings. He stated, “This funding will allow us to globally scale our blockchain capital market platform on a rapid timeline, ushering in an era of trust through technology for the global economy.”
Overstock.com was one of the first and largest retailers to first accept Bitcoin as a form of payment. They act as an online retailer, selling merchandise from jewellery to furniture, and everything in between. The company first went pubic three years after launch in 2002. In the time since, they have become one of the leading online retailers worldwide.
Medici Ventures is an investment branch of Overstock.com that acts as an accelerator for blockchain based start-ups. It is through Medici Ventures that tZERO attained its initial backing.
Patrick Byrne has been a recognizable figure for roughly 20 years. During this time in the limelight, he captained the meteoric rise of Overstock.com. In addition, he has long battled illegal trading activities, and is currently championing Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies at large.
No stranger to grand statements, Byrne recently commented to The Wall Street Journal, “I don't care whether tZERO is losing $2 million a month…We think we've got cold fusion on the blockchain side.”
Risk is subjective, and a matter of perspective. While some may view pivoting towards blockchain as risky given current climates, Byrne obviously feels otherwise. The ceiling for tZERO may reside in the billions. Many people are visionaries, and many people have resources. It is those that possess both that have the ability to actualize, and bring forth the future that they envision. Patrick Byrne is one of those people.
In the time since the announcement, Overstock.com shares have surged a massive 23%.