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Online Retailer Overstock Spent $8 Million on Blockchain Projects in 2015

(@mpmcsweeney) | Published on February 10, 2016 at 18:02 GMT
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Online retailer Overstock.com spent $8m last year on its blockchain-backed securities trading initiative.

In a statement to investors, CEO Patrick Byrne wrote that the firm spent $6m more than originally anticipated on its blockchain research. The firm said in November that it spent $3.2m during the third quarter on the initiative.

The disclosure came with the firm's Q4 2015 results, which were published yesterday after markets closed.

Byrne wrote:

"OLabs (our growth and innovation group) contributed what we planned with one exception: though I began 2015 intending to spend $2 million working on blockchain applications for the capital markets, I spent $8 million directly (and perhaps >$12 million in the eyes of the Gods of Economics). Would that it had been $20 million."

Retail applications

Last August, the firm formally unveiled its blockchain-based securities trading platform, dubbed tø. The platform was used to issue a $5m 'cryptobond' in July.

Notably, Byrne suggested in the notice that Overstock is weighing possible blockchain applications for its online retail business. While few details were offered, the project would involve the trading platform in some capacity.

"Incidentally, I am exploring a possible synergy between these two wings of our business (retail and our capital markets innovation), but if it does not prove out they will be separated," he wrote, adding:

"Given our comfortable cash position, strong cash flow and consistent profitability, I would describe my approach to this as, 'brisk but not scrambling.'"

Image via Shutterstock

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