Skip to content
Subscriber Only
Markets
Deals

Fixing the Stock Market’s ‘Clogged Toilet’ Starts in Delaware

  • Blockchain pitched as solution to antiquated recordkeeping
  • Firms incorporated in Delaware can now issue digital shares
1505204478_DELAWARE
Source: Getty Images

Patrick Byrne may finally get his vindication.

The chief executive officer of Overstock.com Inc. has fought for a dozen years against a market abuse called naked short selling, where investors bet a stock will drop without first taking the required step of borrowing shares. He says it was used back in 2005 to drive down his company’s stock, an episode that spurred a Securities and Exchange Commission probe and set Byrne on a crusade to improve accountability in the system that underlies U.S. stock ownership.