Medici Ventures Invests in Blockchain Startup

Blockchain, FinTech, Innovation, Investing | July 20, 2017 By:

Medici Ventures, the blockchain branch of retail giant Overstock, has announced the completion of a strategic investment in blockchain startup Symbiont.

Founded in 2015, Symbiont is a blockchain technology company based in New York City that is developing products in smart contracts and distributed ledgers for use in capital markets.

Medici Ventures is a wholly owned subsidiary of Overstock, created to leverage blockchain technology to solve real-world problems with transparent, efficient, and secure solutions. The company’s majority-owned financial technology company, t0.com, executed the world’s first blockchain-based stock offering in December ,2016.

As part of the partnership, the two companies will collaborate on strategic projects involving both Medici Ventures and its parent company, Overstock.

Last year, the State of Delaware launched a blockchain initiative to help businesses automate their legal and operational activities, using smart contracts technology developed by Symbiont.

Symbiont CEO and co-founder Mark Smith said they welcome Medici Ventures as an investor in Symbiont and as a partner for Medici’s blockchain registration with the State of Delaware.

“Management of fund interests is a logical extension of Symbiont’s Smart Securities capabilities, and we welcome a partner that is equally committed to the principle of ensuring accuracy of shareholder records at all times during a company’s life cycle,” said Smith.

“We look forward to Medici Ventures becoming one of the first Delaware entities to convert its registration to blockchain form at the State of Delaware using the new Delaware blockchain amendments, which take effect August 1, 2017 pending Governor John Carney’s signature,” said Jonathan Johnson, President of Medici Ventures and a director of Overstock.

“When Overstock went public in our IPO in 2002, I had no choice but to sign over ownership of my personal shares to the DTC’s Cede & Co,” said Overstock CEO and founder, Dr. Patrick Byrne. “Thanks to Delaware’s new law, entrepreneurs won’t be forced into such a Faustian bargain anymore as the admission ticket into the club of publicly-traded companies because Delaware is giving entrepreneurs a path to retaining direct ownership of their shares after their IPOs. We are studying opportunities opened by Delaware’s new law for Overstock’s shareholders to gain direct ownership of our OSTK shares at some point. One thing is for sure — the Dole Food case, where investors presented brokerage statements evidencing ownership of roughly 33% more Dole shares than were legally outstanding — is Exhibit A to prove the existing system doesn’t always keep accurate track of who owns what. Thanks to Delaware, accuracy in securities ownership records can be achieved.”