Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne has officially confirmed that there will be an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) for tZERO, the only SEC-compliant ICO token exchange he announced last month.
Not surprisingly, he shared that his phone kept ringing after the initial announcement as investors wanted to put money into the project, even though there was no official statement regarding an ICO at the time.
"I got a phone call from somebody on Monday who said, I'll put in $20m. I can send you a cheque today. What does that get me?," he shared.
Following this, Patrick Byrne confirmed that there will be an ICO to raise funds for tZERO, and according to him, it’s going to be massive:
"So in about six weeks you will see us do an ICO token to use the exchange and our system will become live, handling ICOs. All those things are going to take fuel to actually use them so what we are doing is pre selling the fuel. From what I am hearing, we are going to raise a fortune – $200-$500m easily."
While tZERO has been around for a while, last month’s announcement revealed a partnership with Argon Group and RenGen, aiming to develop the first ICO exchange and marketplace that has the blessings of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
Speaking to IBTimes UK, Patrick Byrne shared how tZERO, one of the subsidiaries of Overstock, is already a registered Alternative Trading System (ATS) and now they have decided to add token exchange capabilities, with the Argon Group to handle deals and RenGen to manage liquidity.
"It's a routing company, and it has an SEC-approved ATS. So we took that and we just blockchainized it. We took something that was already legit and legal and we just adapted it so it could handle blockchain."
ICOs have been the subject of much debate lately, with countries like China and South Korea banning them outright and other regulatory bodies, such as the SEC, warning investors about the risks associated with the unregulated market.
However, given the amount of funds raised through ICOs in this year (over $2 Billion), there is definitely a huge market for them, which is why, according to Patrick Byrne, tZERO will go big.
The tZERO ICO date is not announced yet, but the Overstock CEO confirmed that it will be before Thanksgiving this year, and will distribute utility tokens that will be used to gain access to the platform.