Byrne said his company will issue the world's first "crypto bond," to be traded on a platform the company has developed that uses bitcoin technology.
"We have started building things that replace what Wall Street does," said Byrne. "It does them far cheaper, and with far more transparency, and without any of the opportunity for rigging."
Byrne said the platform, known as T0.com, can augment other trading exchanges and power financial transactions. Overstock has filed a registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission seeking permission to possibly issue a public crypto security. He said to expect further announcements about the platform this summer, and that it presents an "extraordinary opportunity" for Overstock because it has the potential to be disruptive.
Byrne also said there was a personal motive for creating the bitcoin technology platform -- his interest in "cleaning up" Wall Street.
"Ten years ago I came out and made some very bold claims," said Byrne. "By 2004 I was really smelling skunk. I knew there was a bunch of bad stuff going on. I started talking about it publicly. I became the object of sort of a mass Wall Street campaign of spin and vilification and distortion of everything I said. And then 2008 came and everything I said happened."
Byrne said while he's been critical of the SEC in the past, he thinks the agency has improved and he'll be interested to see whether the SEC decides whether to approve Overstock's crypto technology plans. Byrne said if the U.S. government tries to stop it, he'll take the technology to Asia or Europe where there is interest.
Byrne said Overstock's technology is at least "a year ahead" of other crypto technology efforts. Byrne said Wall Street is waking up to the idea that new technologies are a potential threat to business as usual on Wall Street, pointing to JPMorgan Chase (JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon's recent comments that Silicon Valley "wants to eat our lunch."