How blockchains could give central banks a run for their money

For five years, Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne has been involved in the record-keeping technology behind cryptocurrencies, which is more commonly referred to as blockchain.

"We are reimagining the world based in blockchain," Byrne told FOX Business. "A key part of any society is a capital market, and we created a blockchain capital market called tZERO."

Example of tZERO

For those not in the digital currency world, here's a good breakdown of the difference.

"Cryptocurrency is the form of the cryptography which is referred to the digital currency platform," tZERO's head of communications Alex Sotiropoulos told FOX Business. "Blockchain technology is used to store or record information and data of the transaction. A cryptocurrency is a tool/digital asset whereas blockchain is the network/technology to make the transaction happen."

A cryptocurrency is a tool/digital asset whereas blockchain is the network/technology to make the transaction happen.

- tZERO's head of communications Alex Sotiropoulos

According to Sotiropoulos, starting Monday, the security tokens of tZERO called TZROP can now be traded by unaccredited investors. Accredited investors have been able to trade TZROP since January.

The technology firm of tZERO has been around since 2014. Its goal was to "revolutionize Wall Street so that financial processes no longer need to rely on traditional institutional market structures in favor of using blockchain to bolster and enhance market integrity," Overstock says.

"There's a whole new Wall Street coming to life, based in blockchain that is going to make obsolete the Wall Street that you're sitting in the middle of," Byrne said. "And tZERO is a leading player in that blockchain."

So will this blockchain technology movement get rid of centralized banks?

"We have another company who is doing blockchain central banking," Byrne said. "That's going to be great for the world's poor. For 50 years, economists have been talking about the problem with financial inclusion, the poor not even attached to the system. Well, we're going to be able to do that through blockchain and mobile apps and biometrics."


Byrne said he thinks blockchain technology will soon be able to do everything big banks can do.

**EDITOR'S NOTE: This article was amended to clarify the difference between cryptocurrencies and blockchains.