Online retailer Overstock has hired developers who worked on the P2P decentralised exchange Counterparty to build a marketplace for corporate stocks issued as 'cryptosecurities'.
The new platform, dubbed 'Medici', follows up a speculative blog post from Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne in the summer, which mused on the potential to use the core blockchain technology to create a cryptosecurity trading system, in which computer algorithms are used to trade virtual stocks issued by public companies.
Byrne publicly committed to the project during a keynote speech at the Inside Bitcoin Las Veags conference yesterday. The idea is to build the foundation for a new type of exchange trading system outside the control of big banks and stock exchanges.
The first code will be developed within Overstock, and then spun off into a separate company that will refine the software and associated rules for listing and trading stock.
To this end, Byrne has enlisted a team of lawyers from the international law firm Perkins Coie, to liaise with regulators and provide advice on compliance issues.
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. Earlier this week, the company launched an updated international checkout system which allows the acceptance of Bitcoin globally and a commitment to donate four percent of all its global Bitcoin revenues to foundations working to defend and further the adoption of crypto-currencies.