Overstock Will Champion Crypto Despite Cheerleader Byrne’s Exit
Bitcoin fan Patrick Byrne was a blockchain bull
Johnson made the assertions just hours after Bryne resigned amid backlash over his involvement in several FBI investigations concerning Russian femme fatale Maria Butina.
Within the crypto industry, Byrne was known for his devotion to crypto and blockchain.
— CCN Markets (@CCNMarkets) November 27, 2018
Interim CEO is president of Overstock’s blockchain unit
Jonathan Johnson, who has worked at Overstock since 2002, was its president from 2008 until 2013.
“Our team at Medici Ventures, which is the blockchain-focused business, is still working hard,” Johnson said. “And those different companies in the Medici family are growing at a nice rate.”
— Jonathan Johnson (@JJohnsonNow) January 24, 2019
It’s a decentralized alternative to Facebook, Twitter, and the Google-owned YouTube that promises strict user privacy and no censorship.
Overstock was first major e-commerce site to accept bitcoin
In 2014, Overstock became the first major e-commerce site to accept bitcoin payments.
In January 2019, Overstock became the first major US company to announce plans to pay part of its 2019 Ohio state business taxes in bitcoin.
— CCN Markets (@CCNMarkets) January 3, 2019
At one point, one of Overstock’s blockchain subsidiaries — tZero — was worth more than the entire company, after Chinese private equity firm GSR Capital invested $270 million to buy a 15% stake in the security token exchange operator at a $1.5 billion valuation.
Overstock’s blockchain investments recently comprised a whopping 60% of the firm’s total value.
However, interim CEO Jonathan Johnson insists that Overstock’s core retail business is not subordinate to its blockchain and crypto ventures.
“One side of the house isn’t going to get any more love than the other,” Johnson says. “I love both the retail business and the blockchain business.”