Overstock spent $3.2m on its blockchain securities initiative over the past three months, according to the online retail firm’s latest quarterly results.

The report, published yesterday, shows that the firm may spend as much as $8m developing Medici, its subsidiary created for its exploration into the technology, of which blockchain trading platform  is one effort.

In a letter to shareholders, CEO Patrick Byrne said that those expenditures could be higher when accounting for various cost factors.

He wrote:

“The direct costs of our Medici efforts this year will be in the neighborhood of $8m (and when you add shared overhead, services provided by dual-tasked employees and load factor, the real cost this year is significantly greater).”

Byrne suggested that the firm may be looking to spin out its blockchain trading arm into a venture separate from Overstock’s broader e-commerce infrastructure.

“For obvious reasons I do not believe that this enterprise can be co-managed with our online retailing business, and in that regard am aggressively exploring alternatives with an eye to maximizing shareholder value,” Byrne wrote.

In the note, Byrne also pointed to the company’s August acquisition of Wall Street brokerage SpeedRoute as a vehicle for pushing its blockchain-based trading platform. The company said that it expects to make further investments and acquisitions related to Medici.

The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Overstock image via Shutterstock

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