Overstock to issue stock to be traded on blockchain platform

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Overstock.com Inc (OSTK.O) said on Wednesday it would offer shareholders new common shares to be traded on the company’s t0.com platform.

t0.com is Overstock’s financial technology subsidiary and its trading platform is powered by the blockchain, bitcoin’s underlying technology.

At the same time, Overstock, an online retailer, will issue new preferred shares traded on traditional exchanges. Overstock said its stockholders would be allowed to choose between the common stock to be traded on t0.com or the preferred shares.

Overstock made the announcement on Wednesday at the 41st Annual International Futures Industry Conference in Boca Raton, Florida.

Overstock will issue up to 1 million new shares of both common and preferred. The ratio between the common and preferred shares will depend on demand, said Judd Bagley, director of communications at Overstock.

“If there is very little demand for the preferred, then it would be 70-30 in favor of the blockchain-traded stocks,” Bagley said in a phone interview. “This would depend on who wants to buy how much.”

The issue data, however, has yet to be determined, said Bagley.

“We just announced it today. How the thing would be set up, how much, what class of shares, how they will be traded – that information is coming very soon,” he added.

Overstock.com issued the world’s first private digital bonds traded on the t0.com platform in June 2015. It wants to do the same for its shares.

Overstock was up 3.1 percent on Wednesday at $14.99

(Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Editing by Peter Cooney)