Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne is likely to sell his e-commerce firm in order to fund a new Blockchain land registry venture, according to the Financial Times. Byrne is one of the early advocates of Bitcoin and his company was one of the first to bring cryptocurrencies to the digital merchant space.
The joint venture is taking place between Overstock subsidiary Medici Ventures, which manages the company’s Blockchain investments, and Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto himself. The venture will make a framework for local property records which will leverage Blockchain technology as a way to transfer rights and make ownership records harder to forge.
Byrne said in an interview that he plans to launch a pilot by early next year. As the venture comes into focus, Byrne believes that one funding option would be to sell Overstock, either partially or as a whole, and use the capital to fund this new venture:
“One of the possibilities is I sell the business and we have all the capital we need.”
To make things official, advisory firm Guggenheim Partners has been hired to help explore potential options for the sale.
In statements, de Soto positioned the technology behind the new venture as a means to help alleviate poverty. As Cointelegraph reported last year, De Soto is also involved in a land registry project involving BitFury and the Georgian government.
De Soto further explains:
“Billions of people have resources that cannot easily be transformed into productive capital. Blockchain is a powerful tool to solve these structural issues, which are some of the principal causes of poverty and conflict.”
Overstock has been a notable mover in the Blockchain space. Several years ago the company started building its Blockchain-powered securities exchange, which it leveraged last year to raise $30 mln in new funding.