Overstock Founder Patrick Byrne Purchases 43% Of Blockchain Firm Medici Land Governancebr>
Patrick Byrne, founder and CEO of retail giant Overstock, has purchased 43 percent of Medici Land Governance (MLG), a blockchain portfolio company of Overstock subsidiary Medici Ventures. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Founded in 2018, MLG is leveraging blockchain technology to provide user-friendly, low-cost land administration systems. As a public benefit corporation, MLG pledge to promote economic development and full financial inclusion by helping individuals in developing countries to record rightful ownership of property.
Dr. Ali El Husseini, CEO of Medici Land Governance, said that Byrne’s investment signifies a strong vote of confidence in MLG’s unprecedented mission.
“Bringing coherent innovation as a whole-of-government approach in land titling and land administration is a crucial determinant and main driver of economic progress,” said El Husseini. “This investment will provide Medici Land Governance the additional capital needed to develop systems for Zambia, the World Bank, and other potential partners so that all people can use their property assets as collateral to enter global commerce and markets.”
Byrne said that he believes using blockchain to bring proper land governance to the world is a major step towards reducing global poverty.
“From the time I first realized the world-changing potential of the blockchain, I have been working to develop a way to use it to provide a secure, immutable record of property to help entrepreneurs from any economic background join the global economy,” Byrne said. “Proper land governance is the crystallization of the rule of law, and the foundation of a successful, prosperous, and free society. It is also insecticide for the rent-seeking parasites who tax humanity at every level where rule of law is absent.”
Medici Land Governance recently singed agreements with both the World Bank and the government of Zambia to help develop blockchain systems for land governance. MLG and the World Bank will be conducting national-level pilots that will address both regulatory and technological innovation.
Klaus Deininger, Lead Economist at World Bank, said that countries will not be able to achieve the targets set in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals without engaging proactively with the private sector.
““Critically assessing the impact of private sector initiatives, including those by visionary leaders like Patrick Byrne, helps institutions like the World Bank in three respects,” Deininger said. “It allows emerging technologies to harness innovation and explore how it could sustainably and equitably increase coverage with land titles and to assess the economic and social impact, including on women and other disadvantaged groups. It provides opportunities to appreciate what governments need to do to create a regulatory environment for the private sector to operate effectively and transparently. And it helps to test approaches to quickly harness the benefits from good land data and interoperable systems to develop fair business models and financing modalities to quickly achieve the scale needed if countries want to achieve land tenure security for all by 2030.”