If you know anything about Bitcoin and you make an effort to keep an eye on the industry, then you will have felt the rumblings resulting from Patrick Byrne’s decision to take an indefinite medical leave of absence from his company, Overstock.
If you have been working tirelessly to advance the concepts of Bitcoin and Blockchain across the globe, then you probably reacted to this news rather drastically.
Byrne’s medical leave wasn’t that surprising. The CEO has endured over a hundred surgeries in the few decades, this after fighting with cancer thirty years ago. The recurrence of Hepatitis C in 2015 only made matters worse.
Bitcoin Blockchain is a vast digital ledger that underpins Bitcoin and Overstock, Byrne’s company, was the first major retailer to permit the use of Bitcoin for transactions.
Additionally, Byrne has made an effort to advance the fortunes of Blockchain, creating an Overstock subsidiary that uses technologies related to blockchain to provide services that track the exchange of financial securities.
While professionals in the industry have reacted rather anxiously, Byrne was quick to refute claims that the health of Overstock would suffer as a result of his absence. If anything, he was remorseful that he wouldn’t be able to continue working with and promoting blockchain.
Role of Blockchain & Cryptographic Algorithms
The Blockchain, as it is known today, was crafted atop a network of machines (scattered across the globe) and purposed to utilize cryptographic algorithms in an effort to verify transactions and supervise the exchange of money.
Capable of overseeing the exchange of any and all elements that carry some value (this including bonds and futures), the algorithms that the Blockchain uses allow the entity to operate without oversight from any notable institution.
In other words, through Blockchain, financial systems can operate outside the control of governments and even banks. There is no need to appoint a formal gatekeeper that scrutinizes transactions to determine their validity, Blockchain providing a database that multiple entities with different economic and political agendas can share even in the absence of trust.
Byrne believes the Blockchain could make the financial system as it is known today obsolete. His company began working with the system roughly two years ago, quickly receiving permission from the SEC to begin offering public shares using blockchain.
Bitcoin Invades Wall Street
In pursuing this achievement, Overstock was able to issue shares without the involvement of Wall Street. Along with permitting other companies to IPO using this structure, Overstock believes that their blockchain could be used to contend with other assets.
Byrne’s Overstock subsidiary now has an independent service that provides oversight over stock loans. It’s difficult to deny the role Patrick Byrrrnnne has played in extending the reach of Bitcoin.
Sufficing to say, he has successfully injected his name into the history books as a figure whose work could drastically transform the financial field in the long run. Because of the successes of Overstock, various other organizations have begun working to implement similar technology.
This includes entities on Wall Street. Nasdaq OMX, for example, is working to build a Blockchain-based system that can manage stock in companies that are still private. A lot of the successes Byrne has achieved can be imputed to his ability to garner support from notable banks and technology companies.
Bitcoin Companies Across The Globe Advocate Hyperledger
Many of these companies, like Buy A Bitcoin in Australia, are now working to make Hyperledger, an open-source project that can build software capable of operating like the Blockchain, a reality. Even with all the work these banks and tech companies have done to give this innovation some life, they cannot deny the revolutionary contribution of Byrne in paving the way for them.
If Byrne has his way, his efforts could transform Wall Street completely. It is hardly surprising that major Wall Street names have stopped fighting the proliferation of Digital Currencies, instead turning over a new leaf and now working to bring this same changes to pass but on their terms, lest they get left behind.
Byrne’s efforts to change Wall Street are nothing new. With Blockchain, Byrne is merely extending his earlier works to a whole new scale.
Because of his work in the financial field, his leave of absence has created doubt in the minds of many players in the Bitcoin industry with regards to his company’s Blockchain ambitions. Byrne insists that Overstock will move forward with its grand plans even in his absence.
Whether the Blockchain ship can remain afloat without his direct involvement remains to be seen.