Retailer Giant Overstock Preparing To Launch An ICO For Entering The Bitcoin Territory
The CEO of Overstock.com which is an online retailer competing with the likes of Amazon has revealed that the company has set a December date for coming up with its first ICO . Patrick Byrne, the Chief Executive Officer at Overstock has announced that the company wishes to raise corpus for reshaping its business through the 18th December’s initial coin offering.
This will make Overstock one of the very first retailers to accept the virtual currency mode of payment. It shall make its coin offering through tZero, its exclusive exchange platform. The stock price of Overstock has also undergone significant price surge in the recent months by rising up by five times in between July and December when Bitcoin pumped up by seven times. Thus, the decision taken by Byrne surely doesn’t come off as a surprise. This philosophy doctorate recently told CNNMoney that he is planning to sell off the retail entrepreneurship for focussing more on the ownership of 10 blockchain companies by Overstock. Blockchain the skeletal technology backing the Bitcoin functioning will be dealt by Medici Ventures, its venture capital subsidiary.
Byrne has also formed a partnership termed De Soto, Inc. with Hernando de Soto, a Peruvian economist. This company shall look after the formation and maintenance of a property registry which will provide the rights of land registration to people in developed countries by using blockchain technology. This move of Overstock comes at such a juncture when the scrutiny parameters of Securities and Exchange Commission is being heightened to match the fast-growing ICO industry worth multi-billion dollars.
Byrne does not seem to be worried about the same. He revealed during the interview conducted by CNNMoney that:
“I’m actually quite supportive of the SEC cracking down. The ICO craze this year has led to a lot of people being fleeced. There’s been a lot of people bringing coins public with no business plan.”
According to London based financial research company Autonomous Research, a total of $4 billion has been raised via the ICO mode in 2017. Compared to just $14 million in 2014, its year of inception and $226 million in 2016, the journey of Bitcoin has surely been a mesmerising one. The Overstock ICO is stated to be one of the biggest crowdsales of present times. Garrick Hileman, a research fellow at the University of Cambridge who also studies cryptocurrency revealed that, “Overstock would be the largest existing company to launch an ICO to date.” The biggest ICO was revealed to be Filecoin, a storage data network which raised approximately $250 million back in September as per Garrick.
Byrne, who feels that the number of people gradually shifting from fiat based currencies to the crypto mode shall increase with every passing day in the aftermath of massive economic failures such as Zimbabwe and Venezuela stated that, “Blockchain is going to change the world more, I think, than the internet has.”
SEC has frozen the assets of one ICO and shut down another earlier this month and has also issued warnings to investors about the lack of protection and regulation in the cryptosphere. Bitcoin, the biggest cryptocurrency which has reached stratospheric heights crossed over the $18000 mark in some exchanges recently. This has led to Bitcoin being termed as “highly speculative” by Janet Yellen, the chairwoman of the Federal Reserve. Byrne however would any day opt for a ICO in comparison to a Wall Street stock offering. He stated that:
“If a company is raising money you’d have to almost be nuts in this country to go public in the current market as it exists. It’s so manipulative. It’s so distorted. There’s so many sharks swimming around in that water [that] have ways that play games with your stock.”
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Tarunima Ghosh Laha
Tarunima Ghosh Laha is a Finance Post Grad from St. Xaviers who believes Finance is more than just Balance Sheets and Ledger creation. This filmy bookworm who believes she was a sloth in past life also nourishes a penchant of owning a private zoo someday. Equipped with a laptop and online Lexicon she is all set to give finance a glamorous makeover in the form of exciting writeups with bang on info and flashy new words.