Enables blockchain-based financial services firm to pursue market opportunities
SALT LAKE CITY– Oct.28, 2020 – Medici Ventures, the wholly owned blockchain-focused subsidiary of Overstock.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:OSTK), today announced an $8 million equity purchase in Bitt, its Barbados-based keiretsu company. The additional equity will enable Bitt to pursue market opportunities that accelerate the adoption of digital currencies in developing countries. This transaction gives Medici Ventures a controlling interest in Bitt.
Bitt was founded in 2013 to provide infrastructure to support a digital financial ecosystem throughout the Caribbean, stimulating economic growth and financial access for this and future generations. Bitt’s financial software and mobile application platform utilizes blockchain and distributed ledger technology to facilitate secure peer-to-peer transactions.
“We are strong believers in what Bitt is doing, and remain committed to supporting its forward-thinking vision, which aligns with Medici Ventures’ mission of democratizing capital, eliminating middlemen, and re-humanizing commerce,” said Overstock CEO and Medici Ventures President Jonathan Johnson. “Bitt’s pioneering work in the central bank digital currency space promotes social inclusion, financial empowerment, and economic growth. It is the perfect use case for blockchain technology to fundamentally change the way in which we transact, and fundamentally change how societies function.”
Medici Ventures first purchased $4 million of equity in Bitt in early 2016, followed by an additional $3 million equity purchase in 2018. With a controlling interest in Bitt, Medici Ventures is able to provide further support in the company’s mission of accelerating the adoption of central bank digital currencies. Bitt’s presence will remain in Barbados and its president, Brian Popelka, will assume the role of Chief Executive Officer.
“Medici Ventures has been an ideal partner for Bitt, providing us with strong support and consistently believing in the mission of the company. This equity purchase will allow Bitt to continue to innovate and expand in the digital currency space, as global adoption of central bank digital currencies continues to garner global interest,” said Bitt CEO Brian Popelka. “Our goal is to empower those who have been disenfranchised by the financial system by providing improved payment options, which is especially important as we navigate through a global pandemic.”
In March of 2019, Bitt signed a contract with the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) to pilot a securely minted and issued digital version of the Eastern Caribbean (EC) dollar, which will be distributed and utilized by financial institutions throughout the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union’s (ECCU) member countries. Digital EC dollars will facilitate peer-to-peer transactions between merchants and consumers using smartphone applications, improving the ability to do business in the Eastern Caribbean. The pilot aims to promote greater financial sector stability and reduce the amount of physical cash usage with that currency union.
Click here to learn more about Bitt’s trailblazing work in the Caribbean.