“We have, you may have noticed, in our society, a group of people that call themselves, ‘progressives,” says Patrick Byrne, CEO of Overstock.com. “The hidden assumption is that they are for progress, or that a more powerful government would be progress. Well, I figure that if they can hijack the word ‘progress,’ I can hijack the word ‘freedom.’”
This is why Byrne describes himself as “pro-freedom” and also why he’s supporting the Libertarian Party presidential ticket of Gary Johnson and Bill Weld in this year’s election. In fact, Byrne is not only voting Johnson/Weld this year but has been funding a documentary about their run for the White House that’s meant as a critique of the two-party system.
Reason TV’s Zach Weissmueller sat down with Byrne in Overstock’s headquarters in Utah to talk about Byrne’s return to the helm of the company after taking a medical leave of absence (0:53 – “I’m actually healthier than I’ve been in about 30 years.”), his enthusiasm for bitcoin and other blockchain-based technology (4:18 – “For five-thousand years, society has accumulated these [centralized] institutions like barnacles on our hull, and now the blockchain lets us scrape those off.”), his new venture t0 that brings the blockchain to the financial sector (5:26 – “We now have built a blockchain version of Wall St.”), his support of Gary Johnson (11:23 – “He’s ‘pro-freedom.’”), and his disdain for both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton (15:09 – “I don’t consider Donald Trump a businessman.”).
Produced by Zach Weissmueller. Camera by Alex Manning. Music by Podington Bear.