Overstock CEO Sells 10% of His Stock, Saying ‘Don’t Worry, I’m Still in the Game’

Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne has offloaded 10 percent of his stock, telling shareholders not to worry about it.

The CEO of Overstock, the first major retail company to accept Bitcoin (BTC) as a payment method, has sold 10 percent of his shares, CNBC reported September 11.

According to a form 4 SEC filing, Patrick Byrne sold around $15.8 million worth of shares as of Thursday and Friday, and then $4.9 million worth on Monday, totalling more than $20 million. The company’s share price subsequently fell 12 percent.

In an open letter to investors, which Byrne reportedly signed “your humble servant,” he pointed out several reasons for shareholders not to be concerned about his decision, saying “don’t worry, I’m still in the game, and we’re going to bring this House to its knees.” Byrne also noted that he is going to reinvest most of sold shares “next to you [investors]:”

“Within a matter of days, I will reinvest most of this money into two co-investments with Overstock and Medici Ventures (thus I am eating a double dose of my own cooking, as months ago I promised you I would).”

Venture capital firm Medici Ventures was established within Overstock in 2014 to use the company’s money to invest in blockchain projects.

Byrne also insinuated that he sold off stock in order to meet tax obligations, saying that he needed to “pay Uncle Sam his cut,” stressing “remember, I didn’t build this. Washington built this.” The CEO continued:

“I needed to sell stock during this quarter to meet such other obligations. I am disappointed that I when the deadline arrived for my sales this quarter, the stock had dropped (I sadly note that over the last 180 days the correlation between OSTK’s and Bitcoin’s daily movements has been 85.5%, and again warn people: we don’t have significant holdings of Bitcoin).”

Byrne also asserted that, over the course of 18 years at Overstock, he has “only ever sold a tiny sliver” of his stake and for most of those years he did not draw a salary. Byrne noted that for the last several months he drew “$100,000 so as to avoid being one of those schmucks who does not draw a salary.”

As an early advocate advocate for Bitcoin and blockchain technology, Byrne is apparently regarded as a pioneer of crypto in business. In 2014, Overstock became the first large stock company to accept BTC via a partnership with crypto exchange Coinbase.

Continue Reading

Germany’s 2nd Largest Stock Exchange To Launch Zero-Fee Crypto Trading App

The Stuttgart Börse, which reportedly has a trading volume of $100 bln, has announced it is launching a zero-fee smartphone crypto trading app, dubbed ‘Bison.’

Germany’s second largest stock exchange, the Stuttgart Börse, which reportedly has a trading volume of $100 bln, has announced it is launching a zero-fee cryptocurrency trading app, Thursday, May 17. The smartphone app, dubbed ‘Bison,’ will be free to use as of fall 2018, and has been developed together with fintech startup Sowa Labs.

Four cryptocurrencies – Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Ripple – will be supported from the app’s launch, with additional digital assets promised “in the near future.” The interface and trading process aims at convenience, forgoing the need for crypto wallets or paperwork.

The platform also gives users an artificial intelligence (AI) data analysis tool, ‘Cryptoradar,’ which analyzes over 250,000 crypto-related tweets from the crypto sphere daily to give real-time insight into community sentiment. As of press time, Cryptoradar’s algorithm on the Bison website shows Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin as neutral, with Ripple edging towards the positive spectrum.

A prototype of the app was presented today at the finance and investment trade fair Invest in Stuttgart, with Dr Ulli Spankowski, Managing Director at Sowa Labs, commenting that Bison “is the first crypto app in the world to have a traditional stock exchange behind it.’ Sowa Labs claims that their survey of over 1,000 participants showed that the majority of investors would like “easier” access to the crypto markets.

Last week, Cointelegraph reported on stock trading mobile app Robinhood raising $363 mln in funding in order to expand its crypto-specific platform US-wide, with plans to support 16 different cryptocurrencies, all zero-fee. With the recent funding, Robinhood became the second most valuable fintech startup in the US, with a current valuation of $5.6 bln, and an SEC-compliant broker-dealer status, unlike leading US crypto trading platform Coinbase.

Beyond convenient entry points into the crypto space for individuals, perhaps the most important precedent for Stuttgart Börse’s new crypto venture is the New York Stock Exchange owner’s recent announcement of its own plans to offer Bitcoin (BTC) swap contracts that would be settled in BTC, allowing its traditional Wall Street clients to both buy and hold the cryptocurrency.

Continue Reading