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This article was published on August 23, 2019

Overstock’s blockchain mad CEO resigns after disclosing romantic relationship with suspected Russian spy

This one goes deep

Overstock’s blockchain mad CEO resigns after disclosing romantic relationship with suspected Russian spy
Matthew Beedham
Story by

Matthew Beedham

Editor, SHIFT by TNW

Matthew is the editor of SHIFT. He likes electric cars, and other things with wheels, wings, or hulls. Matthew is the editor of SHIFT. He likes electric cars, and other things with wheels, wings, or hulls.

The blockchain-mad CEO of online retailer Overstock has stepped down amid a confession that he was romantically involved with a suspected Russian spy.

Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne issued a letter to shareholders yesterday explaining his decision. He will no longer serve as CEO or sit on its board of directors, effective immediately.

Byrne has taken the decision after divulging that he was romantically involved with suspected Russian spy Marina Butina, who is now in prison for not registering with the US government as a foreign agent, Observer reports.

Earlier this month, Byrne also confirmed to Fox News that he was involved in the Russia investigation and Hillary Clinton email dispute.

After releasing the statement, Overstock shares fell for three consecutive days dropping more than 30 percent.

In late 2017 – as the infamous cryptocurrency bull run began hitting its stride – Overstock made a seemingly random pivot away from selling home wares to blockchain-based technologies.

It began testing a cryptocurrency trading platform called tZero and raised over $130 million from a private initial coin offering (ICO) last year.

In his letter to shareholders, the now former CEO said he expects the “blockchain revolution to reshape social institutions.”

Despite Byrne’s departure it seems Overstock is still intent on pushing its blockchain business.

Stepping in to fill Byrne’s shoes in the interim is Jonathan Johnson, the current president of Overstock‘s blockchain arm, Medici Ventures.

You’d be forgiven for thinking this sounds like the stuff of movies. In an interview with Fox News last night Byrne opened up about his involvement in what he calls the “deep state.” Where he was given “fishy orders” from the “men in black.”

It’s almost too much to go into now, so watch it for yourself here. I’m reasonably certain this isn’t the last we’ll hear of this story.

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