Overstock.com to Take the Bitcoin Blockchain Public in ‘Matter of Weeks’

Overstock.com to Take the Bitcoin Blockchain Public in ‘Matter of Weeks’


The behemoth of Bitcoin-friendly mainstream retailers Overstock.com has successfully lobbied the Securities and Exchanges Commission to list its stock on the Bitcoin blockchain.

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The Utah-based retailer, which set up its t0 platform to sell cryptobonds in April 2015, is rumored to be making a formal announcement regarding the news in the next 24 hours. Communications Director Judd Bagley meanwhile retweeted the news, seemingly confirming the move to be legitimate:

Unimpeded progress

“We didn’t want to be a Mt.Gox trying to build something and sneak it past the regulators,” CEO Patrick Byrne commented in August following t0’s takeover of Wall Street broker SpeedRoute.

In a Bitcoin.com Ask Me Anything (AMA) session in November, Byrne added:

“t0.com will truly be ledger agnostic, and as such will indeed be able to publish to the Bitcoin blockchain. Your ability to buy stocks via the t0 platform depends on when we get regulator approval. Once that happens, trading could begin in a matter of weeks.”

This week’s rumors are thus the latest piece of good news in t0’s success story, highlighting regulatory progress on top of the demonstrable appetite for blockchain-based trading. The SpeedRoute deal was worth $30.2 million USD, while the initial bond offering from t0 in July was successfully sold at $5 million USD.

In October, hedge fund Clique used t0 to borrow $10 million USD in stock via the blockchain. The deal was the largest to date, leading the t0 co-founder John Tabacco to tell Wired, “We’re starting to get critical mass—institutional-sized trades.”

If the SEC milestone is confirmed, it will take the form of an S-3 application submission, which allows companies to issue securities in a streamlined manner. To have been able to apply for the assistance, Overstock will have had to have under its belt at least 12 months of SEC filings, something which despite the patchwork US legislation on Bitcoin transactions, the company has been able to complete without difficulty in the country.

Banks will be the first adopters

Byrne meanwhile has remained buoyant on the future of wider Bitcoin adoption in general, suggesting however that the ‘push’ may not come from traditionally-expected sources.

“I think the adoption may in fact come from the banking sector itself, and not be driven bottoms-up by consumers,” he added during the AMA. On the topic of likely interest in t0 itself, Bagley, speaking on behalf of Byrne, continued:

“We agree. Something like this couldn’t work without institutional support, but we’re building t0 in such a way so as to make it totally accessible to retail investors as well. It should be easy for you to participate.”

What kind of impact will this have on the Bitcoin ecosystem? Share your thoughts and comment below!


Images courtesy of AP Photo/George Frey