The first Ravencoin meetup. We didn’t even notice Bernie.

Game Stop $GME — Market Manipulation?

Tron Black

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I’m fired up. I haven’t had much sleep. I’ve been following the Game Stop $GME story for only a few days. I wasn’t there at the beginning. I’m not a member of the reddit group, and I wasn’t aware of what was happening until it was big enough to hit every news outlet and even the ladies on The View had opinions on the matter.

But now I’m engaged in this drama, and I can’t look away.

First, a bit about my background so you know why this interests me so much. I’m a developer with a Computer Science degree, an entrepreneur with an MBA and two successful exits to public companies. I’m a poker player with a solid understanding of risk vs. reward. Before leading the Ravencoin development team, I was one of the early employees at tZero, now a venue for trading digital securities and a solution for naked short selling. I was hired as a developer. I learned quickly that Patrick Byrne had been in a clash with Wall Street shenanigans and had fought against the naked short selling of Overstock (OSTK), the company he founded. Overstock ultimately prevailed with most of the gains going to lawyers as is often the case.

In 2015, t0 (now tZero), was building a platform to help prevent naked short selling. With the introduction of Reg SHO, the short sellers are supposed to have a “locate” to ensure that they have access to buy the stock back after they’ve “borrowed” and sold into the market, pocketing the money.

Surprisingly, and despite Reg SHO, the SEC says that “naked short selling is not necessarily a violation of the federal securities laws or the Commission’s rules.” This means effectively that additional shares can be created. With supply vs. demand determining the price, this seems absurd to this engineer’s mind. And, as a guy who thinks in terms of systems, it immediately triggers thoughts of ways this can be gamed, manipulated, and abused. When the person doing the short benefits and is financially incentivized to have additional supply driving the price down, why wouldn’t they borrow more, and what prevents them from borrowing more than exists. The answer is supposed to be Reg SHO, but it is a super sloppy system.

Enter blockchain. Blockchain is not sloppy. It is like a CPA and a computer had a baby. It can track everything down to the 1/100,000,000 of a unit and…

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Tron Black

Freedom advocate, crypto developer, businessman, entrepreneur, and lead dev for Ravencoin — a top crypto-currency and asset issuance platform.