Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne has acquired a stake in blockchain startup, Medici Land Governance (MLG). Byrne purchased a 43 percent stake in the blockchain land registry in a private transaction.
Blockchain land registries have been getting a lot of traction around the world, as they promise a viable solution to the problem of fragmented paper records and unverifiable claims.
Medici Land Governance, the blockchain-powered property rights subsidiary of Overstock, was founded in 2018 to help people legitimize the ownership of their properties using blockchain and other technologies.
MLG is one of the portfolio companies under Medici Ventures — Overstock’s blockchain tech accelerator wing — which includes other blockchain projects such as tZero and Factom.
“Proper land governance is the crystallization of the rule of law and the foundation of a successful, prosperous and free society,” Byrne noted in the announcement.
In an interview with Bitcoin Magazine, Byrne said he believes secure land titling and property management systems have the potential to eliminate poverty across the world.
“Once individuals in emerging economies have systems in place to help them establish formal ownership of their property, they can more easily access credit and public services necessary to become a true, sustainable member of the global economy,” he said.
“Blockchain land registry systems are a large step in the goal to democratize capital, and I’m proud to be a member of the team leading that charge.”
Medici Land Governance CEO Dr. Ali El Husseini describes the investment from the Overstock CEO as a “vote of confidence” in the land registry’s “unprecedented mission.”
“Patrick Byrne’s investment comes at a pivotal time as we are coordinating staff, resources and technology at two locations separated by continents with the aid of governmental and global partners, most notably the World Bank,” he remarked. “Teams both in the African nation and the U.S. are implementing the basic infrastructure and formal digital tools to deliver land titles to holders.”
Medici Land Governance recently signed an MOU with the World Bank to create, implement and evaluate pilot programs that ensure secure land tenure for underdeveloped communities. The blockchain startup also inked a deal with the Zambian government to overhaul the current land ownership system in a bid to allow rural landowners to formalize the ownership of their estates and gain access to the financial world.
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