Overstock.com, one of the original Bitcoin-believer companies, has had a long and storied history in its evolution with blockchain technology. The company, and it’s blockchain subsidiary Medici Ventures, are in an interesting point of flux at the moment with former CEO Patrick Byrne stepping down and president of Medici Ventures, Jonathan Johnson, taking over.

While Byrne was the face of Overstock’s Bitcoin fascination, Johnson has been at the coal face of getting the company heavily invested in blockchain business. Medici Ventures has been incubating a family of companies which it labels as a Keiretsu – a Japanese term describing companies with interlocking interests. 

Now, adding to that, and honing in one of its six key areas of focus – identity – Medici Ventures has participated in Evernym’s recent Simple Agreement for Future Equity (SAFE), which entitles Medici Ventures to convert its interest in the SAFE to preferred stock in Evernym’s future, priced round of equity financing.

Medici allocated $2 million to help the company continue to bring blockchain-based identity products into production, with Johnson explaining that this signals a growing intent by the company to invest into blockchain identity as a critical area of focus. 

Focusing on Identity

The business model seen by Overstock and its expansion into Medici Ventures has been a noteworthy one as it is quite unique. The separation of Overstock and Medici, and then the further breakdown into the Keiretsu companies is something that has not been seen from high-level enterprises. 

Looking deeper into it, Johnson spoke with me about Medici Venture’s short to mid-term ambitions and how this latest move has them upping the ante on blockchain identity – something seen as potentially revolutionary. 

“We have two main initiatives for both the short and mid-term focus of Medici Ventures,” explained Johnson. First, supporting the companies that are in the Medici Ventures family. This includes support with software development, management, recruiting, public relations, and fundraising as requested by the leadership at those companies.”

“We believe we have found the best in breed in each of our six areas of focus (Identity, Land Titling, Banking & Currency, Capital Markets, Supply Chain, Voting) with Evernym squarely filling out the Identity focus. 

“Our second initiative is to build out our Government as a Service offering, which ties the service providers in each of our focuses together to offer a full menu for governments to choose where they would like to increase efficiency, reduce redundancy, and provide transparency in their services.”

The breakdown of Overstock, and Medici Ventures’, blockchain involvement by Johnson, appears to be expanding rapidly even under the new management. Even back in 2018, there was signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Rwanda Land Management and Use Authority and the Rwanda Information Society Authority. The MoU will be aimed at implementing the company’s blockchain-based land management technology to the context of Rwanda. 

Linking identity to governments

Johnson goes on to show how these two sides of Medici Ventures coin are interlinked with blockchain identity often spoken about in the same breath as voting, governmental initiatives, and citizen registration and identity.

“One of Medici Ventures’ areas of focus is in the identity space,” added Johnson. “Identity is core to the other services we plan to integrate in a Government as a Service product built on the technology stack for civilization.”

“Evernym is bridging the gap between the traditional siloed approach to identity and true self-sovereign identity. We have finally found the last piece of our tech stack puzzle. Evernym’s approach to identity is aligned with Medici Ventures’ vision of bringing individuals trust through technology.” 

“Medici Ventures and its companies are focused on bringing blockchain-based products into production to democratize capital, eliminate middlemen, and re-humanize commerce.”

“Medici Ventures has been focusing in the identity space for quite some time, so this is a continuation of the direction we plotted for Medici Ventures from the beginning. Everything finally fell into place for Medici Ventures and Evernym to come together,” the new Overstock.com CEO also added.

A driving force

Because of Overstock’s history within the Bitcoin and then blockchain space, it is a company – an enterprise – that has a lot more experience than others in implementing and growing the blockchain ecosystem.

The success and expansion of Medici Ventures have been visible in the last few years and is relatively unique and pioneering in its approach. If it will be the leader in years to come is yet to be seen, but in this experimental phase of the technology, Medici is doing a lot in several different sectors to find the killer application of blockchain.



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Overstock.com Hones In On Blockchain Identity With Medici Ventures And Evernym Partnership
Overstock.com Hones In On Blockchain Identity With Medici Ventures And Evernym Partnership
Overstock.com Hones In On Blockchain Identity With Medici Ventures And Evernym Partnership
Overstock.com Hones In On Blockchain Identity With Medici Ventures And Evernym Partnership

Overstock.com Hones In On Blockchain Identity With Medici Ventures And Evernym Partnership

Overstock.com Hones In On Blockchain Identity With Medici Ventures And Evernym Partnership