Overstock.com, a Utah-based online retailer, issued the first digital corporate bond using blockchain technology—the same technology that supports cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin.
Patrick Byrne, Overstock’s CEO, bought the first $500,000 cryptobond on June 5 using the company’s T0.com platform (pronounced T-zero), which has same-day settlement. Overstock.com
plans to sell $25 million worth of digital bonds on the platform.
The offering is being made exclusively to qualified institutional investors. A blockchain tracks the ownership of the bonds using a distributed public ledger that is protected using cryptology.
“The crypto revolution has arrived on Wall Street,” Byrne says. “We’re making it official by offering the world’s first cryptosecurity.”
Nasdaq is testing the use of blockchain technology for the trading of shares of private companies in its Nasdaq Private Market. A number of securities firms are investigating whether blockchain technology can make transactions more efficient.