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Troubled online retailer Overstock has invested $2 million USD in blockchain-based identity firm Evernym through its crypto division, Medici Ventures.
Blockchain-Based Identity Technology
Evernym was founded in Salt Lake City in 2013 and has developed a blockchain-based technology that allows organizations and governments to issue, accept, and verify credentials that operate similarly to a digital passport. Its digital credential platform, Verity, allows organizations to interact with customers while giving clients control over their data. The technology utilizes blockchain to develop a decentralized ecosystem of digital credentials that is more trustworthy than physical credentials. Overstock’s investment will be used to help Evernym scale its operations.
“Evernym’s platform allows every person, organization, and connected thing to have an independent identity. Evernym fills out Medici Ventures’ identity pillar within our keiretsu and will help advance our government-as-a-service technology stack for civilization,” said recently appointed Overstock CEO Jonathan Johnson. The company made the investment via its crypto ventures arm Medici Ventures, which participated in Evernym’s Simple Agreement for Future Equity (SAFE). SAFE will allow Overstock to convert its investment into preferred stock.
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Overstock in Turmoil
Overstock has been in turmoil in recent weeks after the departure of enigmatic CEO and founder Patrick Byrne following his admittance to a three-year relationship with Maria Butina, a convicted Russian spy currently serving 18 months in federal prison. Byrne has championed the company’s ventures into the world of crypto and had previously stated that he wanted Overstock to cease all its other operations and focus entirely on crypto.
Last week, Byrne sold his remaining 13% stake in Overstock, worth $90 million USD, and reinvested the proceeds into cryptocurrency. The news came in the same week that Byrne’s proposed plans for a crypto dividend for Overstock investors unraveled, forcing the company to delay its payment. Byrne had designed a system whereby investors would receive their dividend in the form of an obscure digital security, that could only be accessed via a Dinosaur Financial Group account after a six-month holding period. The aim of this was to prevent short selling against Overstock.
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