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Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne Sells Shares to Pay Off Taxes

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Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne has sold 10% of his shares, according to a report seen on CNBC.

According to a form 4 SEC filing, Byrne sold an estimated $15.8 million worth of shares as of Thursday and Friday, and then $4.9 million worth on Monday, making for a total of over $20 million. The company’s share price then dropped 12%.

In a letter that he penned to investors, which Byrne signed “your humble servant,” he cited a number of reasons for shareholders not to be alarmed about his decision, saying “don’t worry, I’m still in the game, and we’re going to bring this House to its knees.”

Byrne also emphasized that he is going to reinvest most of sold shares “next to you [investors]:”

“Within a matter of days, I will reinvest most of this money into two co-investments with Overstock and Medici Ventures (thus I am eating a double dose of my own cooking, as months ago I promised you I would).”

Venture capital firm Medici Ventures was founded within Overstock in 2014 to make use of the firm’s resources to invest in blockchain endeavors.

Byrne also indicated that he sold off stock to meet tax obligations, claiming that he needed to “pay Uncle Sam his cut,” adding “remember, I didn’t build this. Washington built this.”

Byrne continued:

“I needed to sell stock during this quarter to meet such other obligations. I am disappointed that I when the deadline arrived for my sales this quarter, the stock had dropped (I sadly note that over the last 180 days the correlation between OSTK’s and Bitcoin’s daily movements has been 85.5%, and again warn people: we don’t have significant holdings of Bitcoin).”

Byrne also remarked that, over the course of nearly two decades at Overstock, he has “only ever sold a tiny sliver” of his stake and for many of those years, he did not even claim a salary. Byrne noted that for the last few months, he drew “$100,000 so as to avoid being one of those schmucks who does not draw a salary.”

As one of the very first advocates for Bitcoin and blockchain technology, Byrne is regarded as a pioneer of crypto in the business world. In 2014, Overstock became the first large stock company to accept BTC via a partnership with crypto exchange Coinbase.

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