Overstock may be best known as an eCommerce business, but these days its CEO and Founder Patrick Byrne is much more interested in talking about the power of cryptocurrency and blockchain, and how it will be the real future of both the firm and the economy in general.
Suffice to say, Byrne remains one of blockchain's bigger boosters.
But things in the eCommerce business also showed signs of strength. Revenue was in above expectations, clocking in at $440.6 million versus the $424 million predicted. Net loss was also up, however, hitting $47.9 million vs. $0.8 million the year prior, attributed to sharp increases in digital and traditional marketing efforts.
But the retail side of Overstock is something of a second fiddle in the grand scheme of the firm's interests – it is, in fact, looking for a buyer for its retail operations so that it can shift its focus completely to distributed ledger technology and its advancement. Thus far, Overstock has placed $175 million of investor capital into Medici Ventures, their blockchain accelerator. Those funds have been used to grow operations like tZERO, the security token issuance and trading platform.
“We believe [tZERO] is leading the pack globally in possibly the most lucrative of all blockchain applications (i.e., security tokens). I think the public may not understand our master plan in Medici, how the pieces all fit together, as well as how blockchain firms in this network are making similarly dramatic progress in their respective fields," Byrne noted in a letter to investors.
On the call with investors, Byrne further noted that the ICO market is now cooling off stateside, as offerings are migrating east to Asia.
Byrne also noted that he believes Overstock's efforts in the blockchain arena will allow the firm to expand into a host of heretofore unexplored areas for the firm, including debt, real estate and other tokenizable asset classes.
Byrne added that they may not be the only player in this game, but he believes they are the best, stating that they are “so far ahead” of everyone else globally.