Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne confirmed that SEC-compliant token exchange and marketplace tZERO will hold an initial coin offering (ICO) by Thanksgiving. Byrne predicts the tZERO ICO could "easily" raise as much as $200 million to $500 million, potentially breaking the record for token sale fundraising.
Last month, Overstock made waves by announcing that tZERO, one of the online retailer's blockchain subsidiaries, had entered into a joint venture with RenGen and the Argon Group to develop the first FINRA- and SEC-compliant ICO marketplace. Overstock's share price soared following the announcement, and Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne says his phone began ringing off the hook with people clamoring to invest upwards of $20 million in the tZERO ICO — which Overstock had not even officially announced.
Now, Byrne has confirmed the rumors: there will be a tZERO ICO. Although the token exchange will comply with securities regulations, Byrne bills the platform's native token as a utility coin that customers will use to pay for access to the platform. He compares the token to gas fees users pay to run Ethereum smart contracts.
He told the International Business Times that the tZERO ICO will open before Thanksgiving.
"So in about six weeks you will see us do an ICO token to use the exchange and our system will become live, handling ICOs," he told the publication. "All [the platform's services] are going to take fuel to actually use them so what we are doing is pre selling the fuel."
Byrne — who has been planning to launch a blockchain-based securities exchange for nearly three years — predicts that the tZERO ICO is going to "raise a fortune":
"From what I am hearing, we are going to raise a fortune – $200-$500m easily," he continued.