Blockchain Can End Global Poverty And Inequality – Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne

Blockchain, Innovation, News | June 25, 2018 By:

Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne said that blockchain technology would be the world’s greatest hope in ending global poverty.

Byrne is an American entrepreneur and e-commerce pioneer. In 1999, Byrne launched Overstock after leading two smaller companies, including one owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway. In 2002, Byrne took Overstock.com public. Since its initial public offering (IPO), Overstock.com has increased revenue to almost $1.8 billion while achieving profitability in 2009. In January 2014, Overstock.com became the first major retailer to accept bitcoin.

In Decemeber 2017, Byrne teamed with world-renowned economist Hernando de Soto to develop a blockchain-based property registry system to ensure the property rights of billions of people in the developing world. The goal is to promote the interests of people who are currently operating extra-legally, as well as multinational corporations who are trying to cooperate with local owners.

In an interview with FOX Business, Byrne, who has been a long-time advocate for bitcoin, said that blockchain technology can lift billions out of poverty. He added that they are looking for suitors who may be interested in their multi-billion dollar project.

“When we first started taking bitcoin I said back then four years ago, the main event of bitcoin isn’t bitcoin it’s this thing called blockchain,” Byrne said. “We are going to change the world with blockchain. Hernando and I intend to use blockchain technology to empower and enfranchise the five billion people who live outside formal economies within five years.”

De Soto, who is known for his work on the informal economy and on the importance of business and property rights, said they plan to build solutions to empower individuals through property ownership.

“What works in the United States, the most successful, prosperous and probably democratic country in the world, should be extendable to the rest of the universe and we can do it with blockchain technology,” de Soto said.