Article: A Tycoon’s Deep-State Conspiracy Dive

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A Tycoon’s Deep-State Conspiracy Dive

Sheelah Kolhatkar, 07 December 2020

In July, 2015, Patrick Byrne, the founder of the online discount retailer Overstock, delivered a twenty-minute talk at FreedomFest, the annual libertarian conference in Las Vegas. Other speakers included the venture capitalist Peter Thiel; John Mackey, the chief executive officer of Whole Foods; and the Presidential candidate Donald J. Trump.

Byrne’s talk, entitled “Turtles All the Way Down: How the Crypto-Revolution Solves Intractable Problems on Wall Street,” was a version of one he had given many times before. It touched on several of his interests, including the kind of liberalism usually referred to as libertarianism, the flaws in the structure of the stock market which make it vulnerable to manipulation, and how a blockchain-based financial system could eliminate those flaws. After the talk, a line of people waited by the stage to speak to Byrne.

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