Hacking the Stock Market
How We Became Wall Street’s Shadow Backbone
I became a senior network administrator.
What did networking mean back then? I built the servers. We had servers, you had to connect them, unleash their power onto the world, so that the software could talk to them.
Every morning, 3:45am, I pushed the button to start the engines. Our servers were serving Wall Street traders. They gave them access to a proprietary software platform that facilitated transactions. We were circumventing people's connections through the right backbone so that they could actually get that instant peer to peer transaction from their computer all the way to Wall Street.
You can easily picture Wall Street, all those dipshits yelling at each other in the stock exchange—but I tell you, what empowered all that was an invisible group of cyber punks like us, working on our servers in a small startup company. Cyber Corp was its name. We were the ones that made it possible to just hit the keyboard button and execute an almost instant transaction that bent space and time to the tune of $5,000 worth of Apple stock trading for $5.60.
Instead of the hackneyed image of the crowded and chaotic Wall Street offices, imagine a warehouse district in Austin, Texas, just maybe eight short blocks away from the University where I had infiltrated. Our building was there. It was not overly impressive, at first: it evolved over time, with us. Hidden in there, around ninth in San Gabriel Street, we could see the symbols of the institutions: the Capitol, the University of Texas’ Tower. We were there, in the core of the city of Austin and right in the middle of the Austin’s tech boom. Ten blocks away in space, but a long distance from where I first landed in that city, on Sixth Street.
We were on the stock exchange. Only nobody knew that. We were in the shadows. From that shadow, I saw the transformation of Austin unfolding. We were the actors in that revolution.
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