31 March 2015

Overstock ponders the possibility of a 'cryptosecurities' exchange

01 August 2014  |  5684 views  |  0 stock quote

Online retailer Overstock is to explore the potential of using the technology behind bitcoin to create a decentralised exchange trading platform for corporate stocks issued as 'cryptosecurities'.

In January of this year, Overstock became the first major retailer to accept bitcoin payments, and has recently moved to introduce a bitcoin bonus scheme for staff.

The firm's CEO, an unashamed advocate of the crypto-currency scheme, has now set up a public wiki to share ideas and opinions about the creation of a cryptosecurity trading system, in which computer algorithms are used to trade virtual stocks issued by public companies.

"How a public company would issue a cryptosecurity has yet to be established," the wiki begins. "So as to reduce regulatory opposition a cryptosecurity should, at least initially, mimic as closely as possible the economic and legal rights of common stock, but because the characteristics of and methods of issuing a cryptosecurity may be novel, how such a security may be issued and traded, and the risks associated therewith, deserves careful thought."

The page goes on to list a number of entitities that are working towards using the blockchain - the distributed, peer-to-peer exchange platform that drives bitcoin - to create something approximating a decentralised stock trading venue.

The page concludes: "Regulators should look at Crypto 2.0 and beyond as a platform more so than just a crypto coin. It is about the use of technology."

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