What happened

Overstock.com (NASDAQ:OSTK) shareholders beat a surging market in November as their stock rose 20% compared to the 11% increase in the S&P 500, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

The rally kept the company, which runs an e-commerce business and a cryptocurrency platform, well ahead of the market in 2020.

A man at work behind a computer screen.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

Overstock's retailing division is centered in the home furnishings space and is enjoying soaring growth as consumers shift spending to that niche from other areas like travel and dining out. Some of November's growth can be tied to its strong growth metrics in that space. The company revealed in late October that the division more than doubled its volume in the quarter that ended on Sept. 30.

But investors were even more excited about surging valuations for cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. That spike is lifting demand for Overstock's trading platform, potentially giving the business a major source of earnings in 2021 and beyond.

Now what

So far, Overstock's blockchain assets haven't had a positive impact on its reported sales or profits. That should change given that its tZERO Markets platform launched in late October. Investors might see some impressive early growth figures from that division, given the intense interest in digital assets and cryptocurrencies. But it's not yet clear whether Overstock can produce a steady, profitable business from the unproven technology.

Editor's note: This article has been corrected. It is the tZERO Markets platform that launched in October. 

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