Pro-crypto retail giant Overstock has released its Q2 2019 financial results, revealing a 23% decrease in revenue and a 19% loss in gross profit.
Retail giant Overstock has released its Q2 2019 financial results, revealing a 23% decrease in revenue and a 19% loss in gross profit.
In a shareholder announcement published on Aug. 8, Overstock stated that its blockchain subsidiary firm, tZERO, is progressing as planned, with a focus on six key areas — notably security tokens.
No pain no gain
While the fresh results point to a decrease by most metrics, Overstock has returned to a positive adjusted Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization (EBITDA) for the first time since Q2 2017. Moreover, gross margin has seen a 79 basis point increase over the preceding quarter, with sales and marketing expenses down 63% over the same time frame.
The results reveal that tZero posted an almost $10 million pre-tax loss and also impacted its parent firm’s general and administrative (G&A) expenses:
“G&A expenses totaled $32.0 million and $31.4 million in Q2 2019 and 2018, respectively, a 2% increase […] The increase was primarily due to a $6.0 million decrease in cryptocurrency gains from our Q2 2018 sale of cryptocurrency received during the tZERO security token offering, with no similar activity in Q2 2019.”
In its breakdown of its various business segments, Overstock reveals that for Q2 2019, tZero accounted for just over $4.1 million of its roughly $373 million net revenue.
A trailblazer in retail crypto adoption
According to the announcement, Overstock was the first major retailer to accept cryptocurrency back in 2014 — founding its blockchain-focused commerce subsidiary Medici Ventures that same year.
Just yesterday, Cointelegraph reported that tZero is planning to allow the public to trade its security tokens within a matter of days and expects as many as 50,000 new investors among its existing Overstock shareholders to begin trading their security tokens.
While tZero has been offering token trading since January of this year, it has until now only been available for accredited investors via a digital securities brokerage account at Dinosaur Financial Group.
Cryptocurrency investors looking for a trading platform focused on high speed performance just got a brand new option, from a company they probably already know and trust. Popular wallet provider Blockchain.com is launching The Pit.
Blockchain.com, the well-known provider of cryptocurrency products with over 40 million wallets created to date, has announced it is launching a new microsecond-latency crypto exchange called The Pit. The institutional-grade platform will be available from launch in over 240 markets around the world, including a select number of U.S. states.
The new service is focused on speed, and the company says that after extensive R&D its custom “Mercury” matching engine now delivers faster execution than any other crypto exchange. It is also hosted in one of the fastest and most reliable low-latency data centers in the world (Equinix LD4), promising to offer reliability and performance regardless of market conditions. Additionally, a feature called Blockchain Connect will allow the company’s many wallet users to transfer funds directly to and from their Pit account, all while managing their digital assets through a single provider.
Addressing another concern that many investors have in various markets around the world, the company assures traders that it will never trade against its clients or give itself superior access to the market. “The current crypto exchange market is outdated, broken, and skewed against users. We got tired of waiting for a new entrant to deliver the performance today’s traders demand,” explained Peter Smith, Blockchain CEO. “We decided to take matters into our own hands, and built an exchange that puts users first, including the 40M wallets on our platform.”
The new exchange will launch with a global banking network to facilitate deposits, withdrawals, and fiat-to-crypto trading in USD, EUR, and GBP. It will feature bitcoin cash (BCH) as a core asset at launch, alongside additional initial cryptos such as BTC, ETH, and LTC, as well as stablecoins such as USDT, and PAX, for a total of 26 trading pairs. The company also plans to rapidly add additional tokens, pairs, and products in the near term.
The trading venue will launch with the support of a diverse group of market markers backed by a deep lending pool. “This project has been developed by an accomplished team with demonstrated experience in managing one of the largest userbases of crypto traders. The crypto ecosystem needs more exchanges that are striving for institutional-grade architecture, decreased latency, and more robust liquidity. We look forward to playing our part in developing The PIT into one of the leading trading venues,” commented Cristian Gil, Co-Founder of GSR, one of the global market makers on the platform.
The new service is offered to American users by a U.S.-financial institution regulated by the Department of the Treasury. All users will have to be at least Silver Tier KYC to trade, which requires providing a legal name, verified email, date of birth, and address. Gold Tier KYC requires a photo of a government issued ID and of the applicant, but opens up higher trading amounts and features on both the wallet and the exchange.
Built by a Well Experienced Pit Crew
The CEO of the company has revealed that the new platform was developed in secrecy over the past year by a dedicated new group of employees inside Blockchain.com. This stealth team was joined by veterans from finance and technology firms such as NYSE, TD Ameritrade, E*Trade, Google, Goldman Sachs, UBS, Interactive Brokers and Revolut. “We’re incredibly lucky to have assembled a world class team who have been heads-down building The PIT for the past year. The ‘PIT Crew’ as we call them, has an unmatched level of technical skills and the domain expertise required to develop a product of this caliber,” stated Smith.
Nicole Sherrod, the firm’s previously unannounced Head of Retail Products, joined last July to lead product development of the trading platform. She previously led the active trading product division at online brokerage giant TD Ameritrade. “I’ve dedicated my career to championing the retail investor and giving them a powerful trading experience that is not only fair, but provides an edge,” explained Sherrod. “When Peter approached me with his vision for The PIT, I realized this was an even greater impact on retail crypto traders everywhere.”
Tom Haller, previously the Chief Software Architect for trading systems at the New York Stock Exchange, led the development of the exchange’s matching engine. “Whereas most cryptocurrency exchanges run alongside slow, consumer applications in the cloud, The PIT leverages best practices from Wall Street to facilitate rapid, efficient, and high-quality trade execution at HFT [high-frequency trading] speeds,” commented Haller.
Bitcoin Cash-Friendly Company
Blockchain.com is one of the most trusted companies in the digital assets space, and has raised over $70 million in funding from investors such as Lightspeed Venture Partners and Google Ventures. It is also known for being friendly to the BCH community, integrating the cryptocurrency into its services. Earlier this year, for example, the company launched a Bitcoin Cash block explorer that allows users to search for detailed information on specific BCH blocks, check whether a transaction has confirmed, view the balance of a wallet address, monitor market prices, and even watch real-time network transactions.
In January of this year, the wallet provider also created an educational tool called Blockchain Primers. The service is intended to offer a relatively concise overview of each crypto asset including background material, the latest market data and analysis. The first report issued on it was an introduction to BCH, whose advantages over BTC, according to the research, include greater maximum onchain transaction capacity, lower average transaction fees, and additional smart contract functionality.
What do you think about the new trading platform from Blockchain.com? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Blockchain.com.
Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH and other coins, on our market charts at Bitcoin.com Markets, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com.
Bitcoin rewards shopping app Lolli now works at major American grocery chain Safeway to give customers 3.5% back in Bitcoin on all their purchases.
Bitcoin (BTC) rewards shopping app Lolli has partnered with major American grocery chain Safeway to give customers 3.5% back in Bitcoin on all their purchases.
Making Bitcoin ‘part of everyday life’
According to a blog post announcing the new partnership on July 25, Safeway — and Albertsons Companies’ subsidiary — operates 894 locations across 17 American states.
The system will reward customers in Satoshis (sats) — the name given to one hundred millionth of one Bitcoin — the smallest unit of the cryptocurrency.
In an interview with Yahoo! Finance, Lolli CEO & co-founder Alex Adelman said that teaming up with “one of the most well-recognized food retailers in the United States […] will give people the ability to get involved in holding and owning Bitcoin — perhaps for the first time.”
He added that whereas the initial thought during Bitcoin’s early days had been that the cryptocurrency would first be used as a payments rail, his view is that earning Bitcoin will be the “first wave that gets Bitcoin in the hands of the masses.”
As compared with retailers’ traditional fiat currency-denominated loyalty cards, he argued that cryptocurrency was a better store of value, likening it to a savings account that could reap lucrative rewards to long-term holders:
“Points, as you know, are deflationary, and Bitcoin is non-deflationary, so I think it’s a better store of value than an arbitrary points system.”
Crypto adds value to loyalty systems
Beyond Bitcoin, various projects have been integrating blockchain technology and digital assets to merchants’ legacy points systems, including New York-based blockchain startup Long Blockchain and China UnionPay in partnership with IBM.
As Cointelegraph reported earlier this summer, Lolli has recently added major booking service Hotels.com – to its partners, which lists over 325,000 properties in around 19,000 locations worldwide.