Patrick Byrne, the former chief executive of Overstock who stepped down abruptly in August, has sold his 13% stake in the e-commerce company he founded back in 1999 to buy crypto and precious metals, he announced late on Thursday.
Bryne wrote in a blog post at his DeepCapture.com that by the end of this week, he will have reinvested his full proceeds into “investments that are counter-cyclical to the economy.”
“Gold, silver and two flavors of crypto,” he wrote.
Overstock has long been a proponent of cryptocurrency and was one of the first firms to accept crypto payments. It also launched the tZERO security token exchange platform and acquired the company behind Ravencoin. Bryne was spearheading these moves until external pressures against him contributed to his resignation from the company this past August.
His final gambit, a crypto dividend approved in July, worked to increase Overstock’s share price to a 52-week high last week, but the shares value dropped by half as his plan unraveled.
After the market closed on Thursday, Bryne filed a statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that he had auctioned 4.7 million Overstock shares worth $90 million. The deals were over the previous three trading phases, as the stock price dropped from $29.38 last Friday to $15.65 today.
Overstock released a statement announcing a stop to the cryptocurrency dividend policy after a New York post report revealed the back end scenes maneuvering, due to what Bryne termed in his post as a leak from “the Deep State’s pets at the SEC.”
“They leaked that they were going to Bazoomba our digital dividend,” he wrote.
The November dividend was expected to be paid out as a digital security shortlisted on tZERO. Actually, this dividend was a digital rights issue that would give one digital voting series A-1 preffered stock, which represent ten shares of common stock, or ten shares of voting series B preferred stock.
In the filing, Overstock told the SEC that a new cryptocurrency dividend would be announced shortly that would not include the long holding period and other barriers to allow the digital rights to be sold freely and instantly.
The New York Post ‘leak’ showed that the crypto dividend was devised by Bryne as a means to squash Overstock’s short sellers, who according to him would reject its complications and end their positions. Indeed, the plan worked as Overstock’s share price went up until Bryne’s own sell-off started this week.
The Post also reported that brokers from Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan were attempting to rescue Overstock’s short sellers by giving them money an equivalent value to the crypto stock.
In Bryne’s blog post, he wrote that when news reached him of Wall Street banks stepping in to impede his shot of the shortsellers, he acted immediately:
“Once that started getting back to me, I realized this: Whenever I have had any question about whether the SEC would or would not do something totally outrageous in order to hurt our company to benefit their clients on Wall Street, they never let me down: they always did the evil thing. So, Pettway decided it was time to eject, especially because he knows I need the ammo to go to war against the Deep State.”
Bryne added that he would buy Overstock shares again if the firm were to reach the lowest point in an economic crash, while his interest in cryptocurrency assets would grow his assets under such conditions.
“You will have a friend who has sunk (almost) his entire fortune into investments that will soar if a crisis occurs.”
Meanwhile, Bryne said his net worth would be more secure on the blockchain, beyond enemies reach.
“The crypto is stored in the place where all crypto is stored: in mathematical mist, behind long keys held only in the memory of someone who is quite good at storing such things in memory (with paper backups in the hands of a priest I met 35 years ago who never sits [sic] foot in the West).”
“The other thing accomplished by the investment moves I described above is that my ammunition gets moved outside acts of retaliation from the Deep State. That is important because, in fact, I am now going to shellac them. Actually, ‘shellac’ is too weak a word for what I intend to do to the Deep State. Sit back and enjoy the show.”
The former CEO resigned from Overstock in August after admitting to his affair with Russian spy Maria Butina, in a move to stop dragging the firm further into his personal scandal.
Butina herself is now in jail for “conspiracy to act as an agent for a foreign government.” She moved into the US with a student visa to attend a dinner party in New York City. The event was hosted by Rockefeller heir George O’Neill for his Center of National Interest think tank that attempts to bring the United States and Russia together.
Apart from the Rockefeller heir, Butina’s case caught the former head of the National Rifle Association plus a gunrunner caught up in the 1980s Iran-Contra scandal, all three considered her handlers in the US.
In a short and perplexing letter to his shareholders, and filed with the SEC, Byrne admitted the affair and claimed he played multiple roles as a confidential informant for law enforcement.
He also said that Warren Buffet had told him to come clean and leave his position to prevent Overstock from being further involved in a spy-vs-spy fight that had nothing to do with the online furniture business. However, Bryne suggests his enemies were motivated to target him due to his cryptocurrency evangelism.