Crypto-friendly e-commerce giant Overstock is unyielding in its commitment to crypto and blockchain businesses despite the unexpected exit of the company’s CEO and longtime Bitcoin advocate, Patrick Bryne.
Jonathan Johnson, the firm’s acting CEO, says that Overstock will not stop focusing on its burgeoning blockchain venture.
The company’s interim boss made these assertions a few hours after Bryne’s shocking resignation, following a series of backlashes he got for his involvement in FBI investigations regarding the convicted Russian spy Maria Butina.
Before his resignation, Bryne was a well-known figure in the crypto-space for his strong devotion to cryptocurrency and blockchain.
As reported in a CNN article published in November last year, Byrne believes that the blockchain revolution has more potential than “anything we’ve seen in history” and that it is “bigger than the internet revolution,” considering how it will transform society.
Since 2014, Bryne has been moving from online retail to blockchain, with Overstock investing a lot of money in 19 blockchain companies.
The acting CEO, Jonathan Johnson, has been an Overstock’s employee since 2002 and presided over the affairs of the company from 2008 to 2013.
He is now the president of the company’s multi-million dollar blockchain unit, Medici Ventures. Accordingly, Johnson stressed that Overstock is never going to wane in its commitment to cryptocurrency and blockchain.
He said, “Our team at Medici Ventures, which is the blockchain-focused business, is still working hard. And those different companies in the Medici family are growing at a nice rate.”
According to various media reports, Medici Ventures invested a sum of $6 million in Minds, a new blockchain-based social media and networking service company.
Minds is an open-source, decentralized alternative to Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, promising zero censorship and strict privacy for users.
Thanks to the company’s ex-CEO and Bitcoin fan, Patrick Byrne, Overstock is a trendsetter when it comes to supporting crypto and blockchain,
Overstock, in 2014, became the first e-commerce giant to allow customers to pay for goods bought on its website with Bitcoin and, in January 2019, became the first American company to reveal plans to pay a fraction of its 2019 taxes in Bitcoin.
Tzero, one of the company’s blockchain subsidiaries, was once worth more than Overstock after GSR Capital (a Chinese private equity firm) bought a 15 percent stake in the security token platform for $270 million.
Recently, Overstock’s blockchain investments made up about 60 percent of the total value of the company.
Johnson, however, insists that the company’s main e-retail business is just as important as its crypto and blockchain ventures. He says, “One side of the house isn’t going to get any more love than the other. I love both the retail business and the blockchain business.”