Overstock’s Medici Ventures Invests $8M in Blockchain Firm Bitt

Overstock’s Medici Ventures Invests $8M in Blockchain Firm Bitt
Overstock CEO Jonathan Johnson
(CoinDesk archives)

Medici Ventures has completed an $8 million equity purchase in Barbados-based Bitt, bringing it a controlling interest in the blockchain firm.

Medici’s latest investment will help it chase market opportunities around the adoption of digital currencies in developing countries, the Overstock subsidiary said in an announcement Wednesday.

“Bitt’s pioneering work in the central bank digital currency space promotes social inclusion, financial empowerment and economic growth,” said Overstock CEO and Medici Ventures President Jonathan Johnson. “It is the perfect use case for blockchain technology.”

With its controlling interest in Bitt, Medici indicated it aims to help support Bitt’s bid to accelerate central bank digital currency growth.

The equity investment follows a $4 million purchase in 2016 and another in 2018 for $3 million.

Bitt was founded in 2013 and sets out to provide the infrastructure to “support a digital financial ecosystem throughout the Caribbean.”

Last March, Bitt with the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank to pilot a “securely minted” and issued digital version of the Eastern Caribbean dollar designed to be distributed across the region.

The Caribbean dollar is being designed to facilitate peer-to-peer transactions between merchants and consumers using smartphones.

Bitt will remain in Barbados following the deal, while its president, Brian Popelka, will also become the blockchain firm’s new CEO.

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