Overstock CEO Electrifies Blockchain Event

Overstock CEO Invigorates at Oppenheimer Holdings’ Blockchain Event

CEO of Overstock, Patrick Byrne, concluded his keynote about investing in blockchain stating,

“Warning! This is all risky, it may all fail.”

He said that in a Wednesday event in New York hosted by investment bank and brokerage Oppenheimer Holdings.

Byrne electrified what had until that point been a fairly low-key crowd with his amazing stump speech for blockchain’s transformative potential.

Oppenheimer clients filled about 150 seats and were keenly taking pictures of Byrne’s slides that illustrated his vision of the most promising applications of the blockchain.

He started his presentation by providing a brief overview of traditional securities, highlighting the fact that owing to the arcane structure of today’s market, the ownership of stocks is indirect and dubious.

In one of his many lines to turn the environment casual, he said –

“All the corporate shares in America are owned by the company called Cede & Co, and what you actually have is a contractual claim against a corporation, that has a contractual claim against another corporation, that has a contractual claim against DTCC, that has a contractual claim against Cede & Co. What can go wrong?”

Byrne went on to proclaim that blockchain can bring capital markets to the state where systemic risks of all sorts go away.

He mused while provoking a few more chuckles in the room –

“Imagine we have a magic ledger which is cryptographically protected, public and transparent – no way to cheat.”

Reiterating his estimation which, in the course of the next decade, all types of securities can be tokenized, while bringing a potential value of new blockchain securities of $914.4 billion, Byrne turned to Overstock’s favourite child, tZERO.

Overstock team has always been cautious and “SEC-conscious” developing tZERO, Byrne emphasized, and the startup bought a piece of Wall Street in terms of fintech company SpeedRoute, that was acquired in 2015.