Overstock.com今年股价高涨两倍，目前市场估值13亿美元，而年初估值还徘徊在10亿美元左右。这样的成就得益于多种因素，包括在线零售表现强劲、加密货币热潮和一个公开表明考虑收购要约的CEO。该公司CEO Patrick Byrne对《金融时报》说，出售Overstock.com将为他提供足够的资金建立非营利企业De Soto Inc，利用区块链技术保护非正式所有权记录。
Byrne的最新项目是与秘鲁发展经济学家Hernando de Soto合作，后者认为保护非正式土地所有权是消除贫困的关键。De Soto举例说，秘鲁矿产资源丰富区域的挖矿公司在没有合理补偿人民的情况下就取得了对土地的所有权。区块链等数字资产背后的核心技术区块链是加密受保护账簿，可以证明人们所有权并保护他们的合法权利。
Overstock.com’s share price has surged more than 200% this year, propelled by a heady mix of online retailing, cryptocurrency mania, and a CEO who is openly considering offers for the business. CEO Patrick Byrne told the Financial Times (paywall) that selling Overstock would provide enough capital to fund a non-profit enterprise, called De Soto Inc., that would use blockchain technology to protect informal ownership records. “I feel a great moral obligation to refocus my life around this,” he told the FT.
Byrne is probably best known for his fierce campaigns against investors who sell stocks short (bet on them to decline) and for his enthusiasm for cryptoassets like bitcoin and initial coin offerings, which blend aspects of crowdfunding with digital tokens. Overstock’s Medici Ventures division invests in blockchain companies, including a trading platform for ICO tokens called tZERO.
Byrne’s latest project is with Peruvian development economist Hernando de Soto, who has argued that protecting informal land rights is a key to reducing poverty. De Soto has said people in mineral-rich parts of Peru, for example, have seen their property transferred away to mining companies without proper compensation. Blockchain, the cryptographically protected ledger that underpins digital assets like bitcoin, could be used to help legitimize and protect their claims.
Byrne, meanwhile, has ridden the wave of euphoria for cryptoassets—Overstock was among the first retailers to accept bitcoin, in 2014. It now has a market capitalization of $1.3 billion, up around $1 billion from the beginning of the year.