Bitcoin Daily: Coinbase Debuts Bitcoin Conversions; Overstock’s Medici Takes 29.6 Pct Stake In Digital Securities Startup

Coinbase has announced the launch of Convert, a new service that allows customers to convert one cryptocurrency into another at a lower cost than if completed in two separate transactions.

Customers can now instantly convert between bitcoin and ethereum, ethereum classic, litecoin, 0x, or bitcoin cash (BCH) on both and in the company’s iOS and Android apps.

“We’ll be gradually rolling out the ability to convert cryptocurrencies to customers in all 34 countries in which Coinbase offers native payment access,” the firm said in a blog post. “We’ll gather customer feedback along the way and continue to iterate on the feature over time. Our product teams are thinking deeply about new ways to democratize the best of cryptocurrency, and the ability to easily convert one asset to another is an important step on this path.”

In other news, Overstock’s investment wing, Medici Ventures, announced that it has bought a 29.6 percent stake in Chainstone Labs, a digital securities startup.

Medici acquired the stake through the purchase of digital tokens representing 3.6 million shares. Chainstone is led by Bruce Fenton, CEO at the Atlantic Financial Blockchain Labs, founder of The Satoshi Roundtable conference and a Medici board member.

“We believe that digital securities are a far superior model to old ways of moving securities. Since this is our business focus it’s a natural fit to have our own equity digitized into a securities token,” Fenton told CoinDesk through a spokesperson.

Overstock is planning to launch a security token marketplace in January with its tZERO token. In fact, it was recently reported that the company plans to sell its retail business, with a deal taking place in the next few months, so it can focus solely on its blockchain initiatives.

Yet Medici has been burning cash since its lauch in 2014. For the first three quarters of 2018, it lost around $39 million, which is in addition to the $22 million it lost in 2017. But Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne isn’t deterred. “I don’t care whether tZERO is losing $2 million a month,” Byrne said in an interview. “We think we’ve got cold fusion on the blockchain side.”


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