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Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne. Photo: Al Schaben / Getty Images

E-commerce veteran Overstock.com is planning to sell up to 500 million digital tokens via an initial coin offering that will launch next month, CEO Patrick Byrne announced today at the Money 20/20 conference in Las Vegas.

Why it matters: This is intended to become the largest ICO of all time, topping the $257 million raised by FileCoin in August.

Background: Overstock.com might seem like an unlikely ICO issuer, but the company has been an early adopted of cryptocurrencies. It was one of the first companies to accept payment via Bitcoin, and has formed a subsidiary called tØ that is creating the first SEC-compliant exchange for companies to trade digital tokens. It's that tØ exchange, spurred by a July regulatory finding, that would be financed via the ICO sale.

Axios spoke with Byrne prior to his speech, and learned a bit more:

  • He acknowledges that it may not make sense for both Overstock.com and tØ to remain parts of the same company, given their very different businesses. If a split does come, he plans to continue running the crypto piece (although leaves open the possibility of overseeing both). Overstock.com currently has a market cap just south of $1 billion.
  • The Overstock.com ICO will utilize tØ, with Byrne comparing it to Jonas Salk injecting himself with the polio vaccine to prove safety.
  • He believes in a future whereby companies find it more efficient to raise capital via ICOs than by selling stock, and thinks many existing companies could issue ICOs to buy back shares.
  • Byrne says that at least half of the ICOs he's seen are specious, often just a one-page white paper hoping to attract unsophisticated investors.

Go deeper

Officer Kim Potter to be charged with manslaughter in Daunte Wright's death

Photo: Bruce Bisping/Star Tribune via Getty Images

Kim Potter, the former police officer who fatally shot Daunte Wright outside Minneapolis on Sunday, will be charged with second-degree manslaughter, Washington County Attorney Pete Orput told the Star Tribune Wednesday.

Why it matters: The shooting of the 20-year-old Black man in Brooklyn Center, Minn., just ten miles from where George Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis police officer last year, has reinvigorated Black Lives Matter protests and led to three consecutive nights of unrest.

Tech dominates highest paying pandemic internships list

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

In the past year as the pandemic raged on, some of the world's most valuable companies continued to grow and compensate their workers well above national medians – interns included.

Driving the news: Workplace review platform Glassdoor published its 2021 report today on the 25 highest paying U.S. internships.

Biden on Afghanistan: "It is time to end America’s longest war"

Photo: Demetrius Freeman/The Washington Post via Getty Images

President Biden will say in a speech Wednesday that it's "time to end America’s longest war," as he sets out plans to withdraw all U.S. forces from Afghanistan by Sept. 11, according to prepared remarks.

Driving the news: "I am now the fourth American president to preside over an American troop presence in Afghanistan. Two Republicans. Two Democrats. I will not pass this responsibility to a fifth," Biden will say. "It is time for American troops to come home."