Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne is launching a $250 million initial coin offering (ICO) on Monday, matching the largest ICO to date, according to CNNMoney.

Byrne said the funds from the ICO could reshape Overstock.com's business. That could include selling off the retail side and focusing on the company's ownership of 10 blockchain companies, the technology behind cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. Overstock.com was one of the first companies to accept bitcoin and will make the ICO through its exchange tZero.

"Blockchain is going to change the world more, I think, than the internet has," Byrne told CNNMoney, adding that he prefers ICOs over Wall Street stock offerings. 

Overstock isn't the only company to explore an ICO. As startups saw increased difficulty in securing funding, several businesses this year turned to cryptocurrencies to stay afloat, including  paying rent. ICOs raised $4 billion this year, according to the financial research company Autonomous Research. That's a huge jump from the $226 million ICOs raised in 2016.  

"The ICO craze this year has led to a lot of people being fleeced," Byrne told CNNMoney, adding that he's supportive of the Securities and Exchange Commissions' increased scrutiny of the ICO industry. "There have been a lot of people bringing coins public with no business plan."

Published on: Dec 18, 2017