Yesterday morning, New York time, a company called Clique Fund used the bitcoin blockchain to borrow $10 million in stock.
Bitcoin is the world’s most popular digital currency, and the blockchain is the vast online ledger that underpins bitcoin, tabulating transactions using thousands of independent machines spread across the globe. But the blockchain can oversee more than just the exchange of money. It can also oversee the exchange of, well, anything that holds value. That includes stock and other financial securities.
Through a new operation it calls TØ.com, online retailer Overstock.com and its freethinking CEO, Patrick Byrne, have built a system for issuing, buying, selling, and even borrowing stocks and bonds on the blockchain. On Tuesday morning, Clique Fund, a hedge fund based in New York City, used this system to borrow shares in the 30 stocks that make up the Dow Jones Industrial Average.