Mexico to use Blockchain for Land Registration in Partnership with Overstock

Overstock’s land registration subsidiary will be working with the municipality of Tulum in Quintana Roo in Mexico to develop a land registration platform, as reported by Nasdaq, February 4, 2019.

Medici in Mexico

Blockchain has previously been used for land registration in the United Kingdom by the government, and now the same application will be used in Mexico after a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Mexican government and Overstock’s Land registration division on February 4, 2019.

As a result of this agreement, a digital platform will be developed to collect land registration data and issue certificates to public landowners. This platform will be developed as a partnership between Medici Land Governance (MLG) and the municipality of Tulum in Quintana Roo. With time, the platform will also be involved in the automatic storage of public land transactions such as transfer of ownership.

Easing the Process

This new partnership will help in the organization of the land registration process saving time and energy and preventing disputes.

Víctor Mas Tah, mayor of the municipality of Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico said:

“The signing of this Memorandum of Understanding between the Municipality of Tulum and Medici Land Governance represents the beginning of a new territorial ordering stage for the digitalization of land ownership and related processes”

Land ownership is one of the most complex parts of public life as oftentimes, transfers of ownership are not properly documented and as such, it is not uncommon to see disputes over land ownership last months and even years. This is why land registration has been so heavily embraced by world governments such as New South Wales and even Zambia who signed a similar memorandum of understanding with MLG.

At the time, a press release wrote:

“Without formal ownership, individuals struggle to obtain access to credit and public services, while governments are limited in their ability to collect taxes, enforce property rights, and plan for economic expansion and innovation”

There is also a benefit to the governments themselves; by having a secure land registration process, they have access to better international opportunities and can easily attract investors. This belief has been backed up by Medici Land Governance CEO, Ali El Husseini, who said:

“Mexico’s adoption of advanced technology in their land registry will increase opportunities for individuals to strengthen their connections to the global economy through rightful ownership of land.”


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Author: Tokoni Uti
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Over 23 Million People will be able to Buy Bitcoin in 2019 via Crypto-friendly Overstock Website

Overstock, the first major retailer to accept Bitcoin will be selling the leading cryptocurrency through its website to its millions of customers via Bitsy in 2019. CEO Patrick Byrne is not at all concerned about the market situation as he plans to bring crypto to its retail customer base.

Overstock will now sell Bitcoin on its website via Bitsy

Looks like everyone is going Bitcoin lately. From giants like Citi, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs to Northern Trust and many more have made the plans to go the Bitcoin route. Overstock is not new to the crypto world as it has been the first major retail company to accept Bitcoin via Coinbase. After Yahoo Finance that is now allowing its US customers to buy and sell cryptos, Overstock has jumped onto the same train.

Utah, US-based Overstock.com is an internet retailer company which is in existence since 1997 has been revealed to formally begin selling Bitcoin through its website in the first half of 2019 according to its founder and CEO Patrick Byrne.

“We will be offering this through Overstock. Expect us to be offering bitcoin by Q1 or Q2 of next year.”

In an interview with Forbes, Byrne revealed that this feature will be offered through Bitsy. Bitsy is a crypto wallet and portfolio company of Medici Ventures, a blockchain-focused subsidiary of Overstock. Reportedly, the beta of Bitsy has been launched and the further plan is to fully integrate the wallet into the Overstock website by next year.

According to Similar Web, the company has over 23 million visitors. As the company provides its services all over the globe, it is yet to be revealed by the company if all of its global customers will be able to avail this service or only selected countries will be allowed.

Current market situation is of no concern

Right now the crypto market might not look like the perfect opportunity to launch the product but Byre is not at all concerned as he shares:

“When you had all these dot-com companies crashing, it wasn’t because something was wrong with the internet technology. Coins are going to come and go, but we’re long-term long on blockchain technology. There’s a parallel universe emerging with crypto, and I see Overstock as the wormhole between the two universes. You’re going to be seeing us bring this to our retail consumer base.”

As for the Bitsy wallet, it will serve as the user-friendly bridge between fiat and crypto space. This wallet apparently will cater to the not so tech savvy as explained by Medici COO Steve Hopkins,

“We’ve spent a lot of time really understanding how people who don’t have a computer science background interact with payment applications.”

The crypto purists are also included as it’s not working to be some sort of custodian as commented by Byrne:

“The whole point of crypto is to have a form of money that no authority could control. This is crypto as crypto is meant to be.”

Recently, Patrick Byrne was in the news for selling in total about $20.7 million worth of his shares that led them to fall 12%. But, he assured his investors with,

“Within a matter of days, I will reinvest most of this money into two co-investments with Overstock and Medici Ventures (thus I am eating a double dose of my own cooking, as months ago I promised you I would).”

With the way big names from the mainstream industries indulging into Bitcoin, the crypto market will soon see a huge surge in terms of adoption that might even extend to its price as well.

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Author: Sagar Saxena
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Here’s Why Utah’s Overstock Is Going All In On Blockchain And Cryptocurrency

Overstock.com, Utah’s e-commerce darling, is going all in on blockchain and cryptocurrency — and the company’s stocks are following the move.

Overstock’s shares peaked in early January, just weeks after bitcoin reached a high of almost $20,000 in mid-December 2017. The online retailer’s stock then followed the cryptocurrency’s decline in 2018.

In August, the company’s shares again surged more than 15 percent when a Hong Kong private equity firm invested millions in the company, the majority of which went to Overstock’s cryptocurrency unit, tZERO.

Shares dipped again more than 10 percent on Wednesday amid a general decline in cryptocurrency stocks after Goldman Sachs announced it would not launch a cryptocurrency trading desk, according to an initial report.

And though Overstock is known as an online retailer of interior decor, CEO Patrick Byrne recently wrote in a letter to company shareholders that the e-retailer will spend less on its retail unit and focus on “developing more nontraditional means of growth and profitability,” according to a report.

To many, Overstock has always been a technology company first, so it makes strategic sense to go all in on cryptocurrency and blockchain — the digital ledger where cryptocurrency transactions are recorded.

A technology company first

Overstock claims it was the first major, billion-dollar company to allow customers to purchase items using bitcoin in 2014. Now the company accepts over 50 different types of cryptocurrencies, according to Jonathan Johnson, president of Medici Ventures — a wholly-owned subsidiary of Overstock that invests in blockchain technology.

“We think blockchain is the next revolutionary, transformative technology,” Johnson told KSL.com. “Like we were early on the wave of e-commerce and the internet, we think we’re even earlier on what we think will be a tidal wave of blockchain revolution.”

Overstock currently converts half of all its cryptocurrency revenue into dollars and keeps half as bitcoin — sometimes using it to pay employee bonuses, Johnson said.

Right now, only 0.25 percent of Overstock’s total purchases are bought with cryptocurrency, but that’s still somewhere between $30,000 and $400,000 a week (depending on the time of year), Johnson said, though he expects those numbers to grow significantly in coming years.

In fact, Johnson believes everyone will be using blockchain a lot more in the next five years than they may expect. Blockchain will make life easier in the same way the internet made life easier by allowing for a free and frictionless flow of information, he said.

“For those that are calling it a fad, the internet may have been a fad to them in 1988,” he said.

To learn more about blockchain technology, watch the video below.

Jumping on the blockchain train

Medici has made investments in 15 or 16 portfolio companies that are working toward advancing blockchain technology, and the subsidiary employs about 70 of their own blockchain developers. Ultimately, the organization’s mission is to use blockchain technology to “democratize capital, eliminate middlemen and rehumanize commerce,” Johnson said.

To do that, Medici invests in companies that are focusing on different industries where blockchain could be revolutionary.

The technology could replace stock exchanges that require broker-dealers, transfer agents and two days to settle a trade, Johnson said. Blockchain’s decentralized and secure platform would allow someone who wants to buy stock from another to do so without any middlemen by simply exchanging money for a digital stock certificate.

It could also help those (often in still-developing countries) that aren’t able to join a bank or produce the same kind of property records for a loan to which most in the U.S. have access, he added.

Blockchain will make the voting process and supply chain more secure while advancing biometric identification, Johnson said. In fact, blockchain and cryptocurrency will revolutionize the world in more ways than we know, he added.

And Overstock’s faith in the technology seems to be a main focus — even if it means the company’s stock will rise and fall as the rest of the world decides whether blockchain and cryptocurrency are worth it.

“We view ourselves as value investors, trying to build long-term value for our shareholders,” Johnson said. “We think blockchain technology will be the wave of the future, and we want to nurture that, advance it in ways that we think will be meaningful.”


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Author: Liesl Nielson
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