Online retailer Overstock.com is shifting its cryptocurrency investment strategy keeping half of the bitcoin it takes in as payment, the company's CEO has said.
Overstock reported its second-quarter earnings last week, revealing that its Medici blockchain business lost $3.3 million before taxes during that period. At the time, the company explained the loss as necessary as it continues to ramp up development around it t0 crypto-securities trading platform.
In an accompanying earnings call, CEO Patrick Byrne was asked about the recent price increases in bitcoin markets and whether Overstock – which has traditionally kept 10 percent of its bitcoin earnings and converted the rest to dollars – had "changed its strategy" in light of the developments.
According to Byrne, Overstock's board of directors approved a plan to keep 50 percent instead. Notably, he indicated that the firm may move to hold other "crypto-securities", but did not elaborate further on what that might constitute.
He said on the earnings call:
"I mean we can keep it either in Bitcoin or in some assortment of cryptosecurities. So you'll see a portfolio emerge there. We've had there -- had some good luck with some of our -- we've been storing some coins from counterparties for a couple of years and they've turned out -- they've grown up nicely. Anyway, we have some nice gains in the coin department."
In response to the question, Byrne said that the company did at one point see a bump-up in overall bitcoin spending.
"We have seen a material change, in part because of everything in the news it spiked and then it settled back down to about $50,000 per week," Byrne explained.
Image via Shuttesrtock