Overstock’s Blockchain Subsidiary Acquires Stake in Blockchain Banking Platform
Retail giant Overstock.com, Inc.’s blockchain subsidiary, Medici Ventures, has acquired a stake in blockchain banking platform Bankorus, according to a press release published on March 11.
Medici Ventures has purchased a 5.1 percent stake in Bankorus, a blockchain banking platform that enables both individuals and institutions to buy, sell, lend and store digital assets. Jonathan Johnson, president of Medici Ventures, said that “the addition of Bankorus to Medici Ventures’ portfolio of companies will further our work in building the foundation of a blockchain-based technology stack for society.” The financial details of the acquisition were not forthcoming.
Medici Ventures has been largely investing in blockchain projects. Last December, the firm purchased $2.5 million, or 10 percent, in equity in agricultural project GrainChain, a blockchain-powered system that enables supply chain parties to track the distribution process of harvests. The acquisition will purportedly allow GrainChain to expand its market share in Central and South America.
Recently, Bitt, a portfolio firm of Medici, partnered with the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) to pilot a central bank digital currency that will be used within the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU), and is set to be distributed by licensed financial institutions and non-bank financial institutions in the ECCU. The blockchain pilot aims to promote greater stability in the financial sector, reduce cash usage in the ECCU and foster economic growth in the Caribbean.
Last month, Overstock’s founder, Patrick Byrne said that blockchain can make government “superefficient and incapable of being bribed,” pointing out that government services have reached a turning point for a fundamental change of their structure, and blockchain technology, in his opinion, will be the optimal solution. Byrne proposed “building government-as-a-service, a set of applications and companies that, between them, can bring blockchain to different services that governments provide.”