Overstock.com is hoarding more than $10 million in gold and silver just in case the banking system collapses
The company has enough food, cash, and digital currencies stored up to survive a disaster scenario that would doom the average online retailer, CEO Patrick Byrne told Buzzfeed News.
"I want a system that can survive a three month freeze," says Byrne. "If the whole thing collapses I want our system to continue paying people, we want to be able to survive a shutdown of the banking system."
That means hiding away $6 million worth of gold and $4.3 million of silver in denominations small enough for payroll an undisclosed "safe space" in Utah, plus a 30 day supply of food.
Byrne said he thinks of the stockpile as a sort of insurance policy for the company, with a 5% chance of paying off. He pointed to the 1930s banking freeze and the 2008 financial crisis as evidence of the necessity of preparation.
Buzzfeed reports that the hoarding is rooted in Byrne's distrust for most major institutions, including banks.
AP Photo/George Frey
AP Photo/George Frey
This distrust has helped prompt Overstock.com to accept Bitcoin last year, making it the first major online retailer to do so.
In 2013, Byrne told Business Insider that he believed fiat currency, such as the US dollar, to be fundamentally flawed as it is prone to inflation and manipulation. Meanwhile, Bitcoin, like the stockpiled gold and silver, is a fixed supply and therefore immune.
Byrne has made headlines in the past for some confounding behavior, including calling billionaire Steven Cohen a "Sith Lord" in a full-page Wall Street Journal ad (Cohen reportedly manipulated Overstock stock as founder of hedge fund SAC Capital Advisors) and attempting to board a plane with a loaded Glock (he denied knowing the gun was in his bag).
- Girish Mathrubootham, the son of a retired bank officer who built a $13 billion company in just 10 years
- A couple who traveled to 48 states in an RV share 17 things they would never go on a trip without
- The Taliban is bringing back executions and cutting off hands as punishment after retaking control of Afghanistan
- Ethereum’s scaling issues strike again as TIME Magazine’s NFTs sell for 30 times their price
- Best baby swing cradle and chair in India
- China's FUD drags down Bitcoin, Ether and other cryptocurrencies yet again
- The India Chapter of the International Advertising Association elects Megha Tata as its President for a second term
- The beer ‘cartel’ of Kingfisher, Budweiser and Carlsberg have to cough up ₹870 crore in fines