OSTK to HODL: Overstock to Keep 50% of All Bitcoin Payments as Investments

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.

Credit: Coindesk

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