RadioShack, once the source of tech gear, plugs, adapters, circuitry, and batteries (!) for legions of devoted geeks, is now an online cryptocurrency firm.
Two years after being purchased for scrap by investors Tai Lopez and Alex Mehr of Retail Ecommerce Ventures Review (REV), the 100-year-old RadioShack brand has reemerged as a completely new business focused on shepherding regular consumers into the crypto arena. It'll do this by helping them swap existing crypto for a new cryptocurrency known as DeFi.
There is, apparently, something of a business model here where the new RadioShack makes a profit on these swaps but beyond that, the entire plan and mission statement -- "we are going to lead the way for blockchain tech to reach mainstream adoption by other large brands" -- makes about as much sense as a new 3.5mm headphone jack splitter that doesn't end in USB-C.
"We will be the bridge between the CEO’s who lead the world’s corporations and the new world of cryptocurrencies," notes the newly updated RadioShack website.
To its credit, RadioShack explains in multiple documents and excruciating detail how it plans to make this all work, and how its DeFi currency and partnership with Atlas USV is somehow better and more stable than other crypto swaps.
The whole thing gets a little shaky when you realize that Tai Lopez and Alex Mehr (yes, the same people who bought RadioShack in 2020) are also the masterminds behind Atlas USV, which is, according to the site:
"[Atlas] Universal Store of Value (USV) is designed by Dr. Alex Mehr and Tai Lopez as a universal, decentralized, and widely accessible DeFi base layer, on which many future projects can be built by the Atlas community and its partners."
Perhaps this is why no one has heard of DeFi before, though there are many cryptocurrencies with "defi" in their name. Mehr and Lopez are the creators, owners, and crypto swappers in this new system.
The genius of this plan - if there is any - is that REV also owns a number of other semi-functional retail brands like Pier 1 and Dress Barn. It may be able to use Defi swap to create a crypto transaction system that could convert traditional currency revenues into Defi in the back end, which can then be moved about REV holdings.
RadioShack lives to fight another day, it seems. But as a virtual crypto bro, it's not even a shadow of its former self.
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A 35-year industry veteran and award-winning journalist, Lance has covered technology since PCs were the size of suitcases and “on line” meant “waiting.” He’s a former Lifewire Editor-in-Chief, Mashable Editor-in-Chief, and, before that, Editor in Chief of PCMag.com and Senior Vice President of Content for Ziff Davis, Inc. He also wrote a popular, weekly tech column for Medium called The Upgrade.
Lance Ulanoff makes frequent appearances on national, international, and local news programs including Live with Kelly and Ryan, Fox News, Fox Business, the Today Show, Good Morning America, CNBC, CNN, and the BBC.