Overstock Belatedly Launches $250 Million ICO After Unspecified Technical Issues

Nearly two months after CEO Patrick Byrne first announced that it would hold an ICO of its own to help build out its blockchain infrastructure, Overstock – the e-commerce-company-turned-wannabe-blockchain pioneer – was expected to launch at midnight Monday to significant fanfare...

...After a series of delay's due to unspecified technical issues, the offering finally began at around 5 pm ET...

Here's more from the Overstock press release announcing the offering...

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--tZERO is pleased to announce the long-anticipated launch of the tZERO Security Token Sale. tZERO will treat the Tokens as preferred equity in the Company.

 

tZERO, the blockchain subsidiary of major e-retailer Overstock.com (NASDAQ:OSTK), today opened its global $250 million USD Initial Coin Offering (ICO) to accredited investors.

 

During the period which commenced on December 18, 2017 and which is anticipated to run through January 18, 2018 (the “Pre-Sale Period”), tZERO will enter into Simple Agreements for Future Equity (SAFEs) with strategic purchasers identified by the Company as accredited investors.

 

During the period which is expected to commence on January 18, 2018 and to run through February 16, 2018 (the “Subsequent Sale Period”), tZERO will enter into SAFEs with other accredited investors.

 

The Pre-Sale Period and the Subsequent Sale Period may each be extended or shortened in the Company’s sole discretion. Any change to such dates will be announced by press release or other available means of notifying purchasers.

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With the coin sale, the company is hoping to raise at least $250 million - and as much as $500 million - to build out a blockchain system that the firm said would allow it to create an exchange to trade blockchain-based assets, like ICOs.

The offering - expected to narrowly beat out the beleagured Tezos ICO to become the largest coin offering yet - has been the subject of considerable hype that's helped bolster Overstock's valuation. Last Monday, Overstock’s share price surged 23% after Morgan Stanley Investment Management disclosed an 11.4% stake in the company. Meanwhile, in an interview published in the Financial Times, Byrne discussed how he’s planning on selling the online retailing business to develop a global blockchain business focused on the property sector.

Patrick Byrne

In 2017, Overstock’s share price has more than doubled due to its blockchain investments rather than its online retailing activities, which have seen it categorised as a cryptocurrency “play”. Blockchain investments are contained in its Medici Ventures business and include a digital currency trading platform tZero.

The power of crypto-branding was on full display Monday as shares of LongFin, a tiny tech company that trades OTC exploded in value following the company’s acquisition of Ziddu.com, “a Blockchain-empowered solutions provider."

Shares of LongFin - trading under the ticker LFIN - crashed after-hours following an explosive day of trading that saw the company’s shares halted more than a dozen times.

The company’s shares surged more than 730% in two days. On Monday, shares surged from around $44 a share to a peak north of $130 before tumbling after-hours after the company’s CEO was forced to admit on CNBC that it “didn’t deserve this market cap."