- November 24, 2018
- Posted by: David Porter
- Category: Blockchain
Patrick Byrne the founder and CEO of U.S. retail giant Overstock is planning to sell the retail arm of his company to focus on blockchain by early next year.
Byrne is well known in the blockchain industry for his commitment to the technology. He did not disclose the details of the agreement. He even did not name the potential buyers. However, he said that he expects to have the deal closed by February 2019.
Byrne has been planning to sell his e-commerce business since last year to fully devote himself to blockchain projects.
Overstock’s blockchain-focused subsidiary Medici Ventures is the major cause of huge losses for the company. In 2017, Medici lost as much as $22 million, while in the first 9 months of 2018 it has already lost around $39 million. The overall losses for Overstock amounted to $163.7 million for the said period of 2018.
Byrne remains stalwartly optimistic about his blockchain ventures. He said that he doesn’t care whether tZero (one of the projects backed by Medici) is losing $2 million a month and he thinks they’ve got cold fusion on the blockchain side.
Overstock was launched way back in 1999 to sell surplus and returned merchandise online and became a pioneer in the crypto space by becoming one of the first companies to accept Bitcoin (BTC) in 2014.
A remote blockchain-driven voting in U.S. state of West Virginia was among the projects that Medici backed this year. In this year’s midterm elections, 144 military personnel stationed overseas from 24 counties were able to vote via a decentralized mobile platform called Voatz. West Virginia’s officials considered the experiment a success despite the concerns about the security of mobile voting.
Another significant project supported by Overstock’s blockchain division is a land registry platform in Zambia. Medici Land Governance partnered with the Zambian government in August to develop a system of decentralized land ownership which allows rural landowners to legitimize their estates and get access to the financial world.