Report: Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne says company exploring digital stock offering

Home » Report: Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne says company exploring digital stock offering
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On Tuesday, bitcoin-accepting online marketplace quietly updated its website to include an open-source wiki page entitled “How to issue a cryptosecurity.” Not surprisingly, rumors began to spread that the Utah-based retailer might be considering issuing a digital security of its own, something that CEO Patrick Byrne has hinted at before. Through such a system, Overstock would be able to trade shares of its company in a person-to-person system, rather than on a stock exchange. Given Byrne’s well-known problems with Wall Street, such a move isn’t implausible.

Speaking with CoinDesk today, Byrne discussed the matter in an abstract sense and, as reporter Pete Rizzo noted, “choosing his words carefully.”

I can’t say that we have the intention to actually do it, but I can say that my intention is as firm as the intention can get while being still exploratory. If it gets any more solid, I will have to notify the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).”

Byrne was also quick to note that any such offering would be an experiment, rather than a primary securities offering:

If we hypothetically issued such stock, it would really be in a small amount. […] We’re doing it because we want to figure out how to do it and show how to do it [so] other people can fund their companies using the system we develop.”

Overstock also made another major stride in promoting bitcoin adoption this week, announcing plans to expand its current bitcoin-buying option beyond the U.S. and into the global market on a timeline of “one month to six weeks.” Byrne noted that even customers in Russia, where bitcoin is arguably illegal, will have the option.

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