Blockchain can lift billions out of poverty, Overstock CEO says

Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne is hoping to use his original take in bitcoin to eradicate poverty around the world.

The company became the first major retailer to accept the cryptocurrency in 2014 when it was trading at $400 a coin.

In an exclusive interview with FOX Business’ Liz Claman, Byrne said he is looking for suitors who may be interested in his multibillion dollar business to start a new venture with world renowned Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto to end global poverty using blockchain technology.

“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. We are going to change the world with blockchain,” Byrne said.

Blockchain is a digital ledger that tracks cryptocurrency transactions comprised of unchangeable packages called blocks.

The joint venture announced on Wednesday will develop a global property registry system to surface the property rights of billions of people in the developing world, the Overstock CEO said.

“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 your technology,” de Soto said on FOX Business’ “Countdown to the Closing Bell.”

Byrne has been a longtime advocate for bitcoin and said the blockchain technology can lift billions out of poverty.

“Hernando and I intend to use blockchain technology to empower and enfranchise the five billion people who live outside formal economies within five years," he said in a statement.