Overstock.com says it has acquired a 24.9% stake in an unnamed “registered broker-dealer” as part of efforts to “develop and license software to trade cryptosecurities using the Bitcoin network and its protocols.” The company paid $250,000.
The revelation was made in Overstock’s 10-k annual report filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on March 12.
A passionate supporter of Bitcoin and vocal critic of Wall Street, Overstock’s Patrick Byrne announced intentions to create a registered marketplace for “cryptosecurities” last year. Dubbed the “Medici” project, the aim is to “democratize Wall Street” and remove the middleman in securities trading, much like Bitcoin is envisioned for the movement of money.
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Byrne did stipulate that he wants Overstock “to be an adult partner to everyone involved in this” and that he doesn’t “want to be an adversary.” The project aims to create a fully regulated platform and is working with a legal team seasoned with digital currency to see how this can be done.
A number of “Bitcoin 2.0” protocols were proposed, the first one to be employed for active development being Counterparty. Recently, Counterparty developers left the project. According to Overstock, there was a shift in the project’s direction and other protocols are being incorporated.
The filing also says that Overstock’s stake in the broker-dealer has not changed significantly in value since making the purchase last year.
For a detailed list of recent investment and M&A activity in the crypto industry, please visit the DC Magnates Crypto Deal Table.