Patrick Byrne, former CEO of Overstock.com, on 19th September, decided to sell his 13% stake in the firm which was worth around $90 million. This came as a surprise for people, but those who knew him closely were not surprised.
Launched in May 1999, Overstock was launched in the early days of the internet, and it was an online marketplace that sold surplus goods from those companies that failed to sell them. The advantage Overstock had is that it managed to sell the goods at comparatively lower rates than the wholesale prices. The business model remains the same as the company continues to sell home decor, furniture, bedding, and other things on their website.
Overstock.com goes crypto
Byrne had a keen interest in Bitcoin, and this is the reason why Bitcoin also became one of the modes of payments that were being accepted in Overstock.com back in 2014. His love for Bitcoin helped him raise money directly from investors with the help of the Dutch IPO, and he didn’t even hold a traditional IPO himself.
A partnership between Coinbase and Overstock helped the platform in accepting Bitcoin from in January 2014. This move saved the company a lot of time and gave them a headstart as many companies have started moving in this direction.
Byrne has been a Wall Street critic and crypto enthusiast since the beginning, and this enthusiasm and liking towards the cryptocurrency always kept him in the spotlight. In August 2017, the firm announced that half of its Bitcoin payments would be held as an investment, but their association with crypto caused an 11% fall in January 2018 in its share prices.
tZERO is the most significant subsidiary of Overstock.com. GSR Capital, Hong Kong-based private equity firm invested $270 million in tZERO in August 2018
The shares sell-off is not a big thing for Byrne as he has done it in the past as well. In 2018, he sold shares worth $20 million in just 2 days. Byrne’s venture capital firm, Medici has made a recent investment of $2 million in Salt Lake City-based Evernym.
Byrne resigned from his position as the CEO on 22nd August, and after almost a month, he sold his shares from the company at a lower price to invest in other projects. However, Overstock continues to be a blockchain-friendly as recently they have filed an S-3 form with the SEC to register their blockchain-based preferred stock, OSTKO dividend.