Since at least the time T0 bought its initial stake in SpeedRoute, the company has been experimenting with building its securities into the blockchain technology behind bitcoin. “What that does is it’s now a pipeline, more than a pipeline, a bridge for everything we’ve built,” Byrne told me. “Everything we’ve built in the crypto-world can now be accessed directly in the conventional national market system.”
Among T0’s potential competitors is New York City-based Symbiont, which similar to the Overstock subsidiary, is building on the bitcoin blockchain. But in a departure from T0, Symbiont is building “smart” or self-executing securities which embed processes in the software. Another competitor, Blythe Masters’ Digital Assets Holdings, has been quiet about many of the details of its operation, but based on recent acquisitions seems to be preparing to build on a different blockchain, or even a series of blockchains.
Byrne’ battle to increase transparency on Wall Street goes back at least to 2005, when he told a group of investors on a phone call that financial insiders were exploiting a loophole to make millions of dollars off companies like his own, according to a Wired report last year.