Overstock’s Cryptocurrency Strategy: In It For The Long Haul

Karan Kapoor · August 8, 2017 · 12:30 pm

One of the first and biggest major retailers to join the Bitcoin revolution will now accept over 40 alt-coins. Overstock has invested heavily in its blockchain subsidiary and has also changed its internal strategy on accumulating Bitcoin from 10% previously to an incredible 50% now. This move coincides with the digital currency breaking all time records this month and soaring to unprecedented highs.

Overstock HODLs

After partnering with Coinbase in January 2014, the popular online retailer started accepting digital currency from users to purchase a wide variety of products such as furniture, clothes, and jewelry to name a few. Overstock started out by holding 10% of Bitcoin in its reserves, which is sure to have given tremendous returns given the digital currency’s exponential growth since 2014.

The company’s founder-CEO, Patrick M. Byrne, claims that their strategy had now changed to keeping “50% of what is spent in Bitcoin or in other cryptosecurities”.  Since Overstock nets about $50,000 worth of retail sales in Bitcoin per week, Byrne revealed that his company plans to invest the Bitcoin it stores across a diverse set of cryptocurrencies.

On Tuesday, the company also announced that it will begin to accept Ethereum, Litecoin, Dash, and every other major digital currency. In an interview with Forbes, Byrne explained that Overstock will utilize Switzerland-based company ShapeShift to process about 40-45 digital currencies at any time.

Medici Blockchain Portfolio

Overstock is building leading edge applications in blockchain technology through its Medici portfolio companies and has incurred significant losses consequently. Its second quarter financial reports were released last week which revealed Medici pre-tax losses were at $3.3 million, and $11.8 million for the entirety of 2016. Byrne believes his company’s blockchain-meets-capital-markets subsidiary, t0, is on the verge of creating a blockchain-based securities lending system which has the might to leave the largest prime brokers on Wall Street in its shadows. Medici has also invested in

Medici has also invested in Symbiont and Spira. Symbiont provides “an encrypted distributed ledger platform that allows multiple parties to reach consensus quickly”, whereas Spira is thought to have the “potential to expand the reach of cryptocurrency, to Main Street merchants in the U.S.” Jonathan E. Johnson, director at Overstock, believes that with their investments in R3, Bitt, and Ripio and Spira, they “will be part of the acceleration process for acceptance of cryptocurrencies.”

Bring On The Blockchain Revolution

In a Q2 earnings conference call, Johnson lavishly praised the impact of Blockchain technology saying:

First, I’ll say we do think blockchain technology is revolutionary, what the Internet did for the free and nearly — nearly free and nearly frictionless transfer of information, we think blockchain technology will do for free and nearly frictionless transfer of assets and assets includes currency, it includes identity, it includes stocks, equity, it includes a large — you can define assets broadly. We think it’s — that blockchain technology will be — will change the world as much or more than Internet.

Just last month, Johnson voiced his surprise at the fact that most retailers still did not accept digital currencies, calling their decision ‘crazy’. Overstock has stayed ahead of the curve by having an active and constantly evolving strategy with regard to the management of its cryptocurrency investments. With the price of Bitcoin shattering all records over the past week and skyrocketing to over $3500 today, the company definitely seems to have done itself a world of good by embracing the digital currency market.

BTC Has Skyrocketed In August

Do you agree that Overstock’s head start in the Bitcoin market has given them an edge over competitors? Do you think more retailers should accept digital currencies? Will the price of Bitcoin rise further? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Images courtesy of Coindesk

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Source: Bitcoinist