WALL STREET IS a competition. Gordon Gekko said that greed is good, that it captures “the essence of the evolutionary spirit.” A hedge fund hunts for an edge and then maniacally guards it, locking down its trading data and barring its traders from joining the company next door. The big bucks lie in finding market inefficiencies no one else can, succeeding at the expense of others. But Richard Craib wants to change that. He wants to transform Wall Street from a cutthroat competition into a harmonious collaboration.
This morning, the 29-year-old South African technologist and his unorthodox hedge fund, Numerai, started issuing a new digital currency—kind of. Craib’s idea is so weird, so unlike anything else that has preceded it, that naming it becomes an exercise in approximation.