Patrick Byrne is the CEO of internet retailer Overstock.com, which he launched in 1999. A long-term bitcoin advocate, Byrne has sought to integrate the cryptocurrency into the company. In 2013, Overstock offered its employees the option to receive payment in bitcoin, and in 2014 it became one of the first retailers to accept bitcoin as payment for goods. In 2016, the company began using blockchain technology to distribute its shares.
Overstock owns a number of subsidiary companies, including blockchain company Medici. In 2017 it was announced that Medici’s digital trading platform, tZero, will hold an initial coin offering (ICO) of tZero tokens, with token-holders also being able to buy a number of additional services. Overstock has also invested in Barbados bitcoin startup Bitt.
Byrne has been an outspoken critic of Wall Street and the naked short selling of shares. He has also publically defended bitcoin and its potential to revolutionise the banking industry.
Before founding Overstock, Byrne served as Chairman, President and CEO of manufacturing companies Centricut and Fechheimer Brothers.
Byrne has a Bachelor’s degree in Chinese Studies and Philosophy from Dartmouth and a Masters in Philosophy from the University of Cambridge. He earned his PhD from Stanford University, where he also worked as a teaching fellow.