Overstock.com Assembles Coders to Create a Bitcoin-Like Stock Market

Overstock.com is building software, based on the bitcoin digital currency, that could allow the big-name etailer to issue corporate stock over the internet, sidestepping traditional stock exchanges such as the NASDAQ and the New York Stock Exchange.
The Salt Lake City-based company recently hired two of the developers behind CounterParty – an online project that helps individuals and businesses build all sorts of financial services atop the worldwide network of machines that drive bitcoin – and according to Overstock founder and CEO Patrick Byrne, these coders will help build ‘cryptosecurity’ software that any company could potentially use to issue financial securities over the net. Mirroring bitcoin – known as a ‘crytocurrency’ – these securities would be controlled by cryptographic algorithms running across computers spread across the globe, not by a central stock exchange.
Code-named ‘Medici,’ the project aims to democratize Wall Street in much the same way bitcoin seeks to democratize currency and payments. By operating separate from traditional stock exchanges and the big corporate banks, it could eliminate certain loopholes in the system and reduce the costs associated with issuing and juggling stock.

This post was published at Wired on 10.06.14.

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