SALT LAKE CITY , Jan. 16, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Medici Ventures today announced that it has added two additional members to its board. Patrick M. Byrne, founder and CEO of Overstock.com, will be joining the board with world-renowned economist, Hernando de Soto.

Byrne founded Overstock.com in 1999 and has led the company to become one of the largest online retailers in the world, with approximately $2 billion in sales annually. Hernando de Soto, founded the Peru-based Institute for Liberty and Democracy, winner of the Milton Friedman Prize, was called by Bill Clinton “the greatest living economist,” and has been named as “one of the 12 most important economists of all time.”

The move comes after Medici Ventures’ recent announcement that it will be investing in a new venture, DeSoto Inc., which will use blockchain technology to implement de Soto’s vision for a global property registry system that unlocks trillions of dollars worth of “dead capital” in the developing world. The new venture has far-reaching implications for financial inclusion, economic development, and security in the developing world. de Soto will guide DeSoto, Inc. as chairman. Byrne will be DeSoto, Inc.’s co-chairman and CEO.

“Overstock founded Medici Ventures to advance blockchain technology,” said Byrne. “I am thrilled to be joining the Medici board of directors to help promote its mission. The impact of blockchain cannot be overstated; for 6,000 years, humanity has relied on myriad trusted institutions to perform its most critical functions, and those institutions are prone to capture by rent-seeking agents. Blockchain will revolutionize this model in dozens of industries, including property registry, which has the potential to impact billions of the world’s poor by eliminating the rent-seeking institutions which prey upon them. I look forward to serving on the Medici board to help the company accomplish this important mission and advance blockchain across many domains.”

Medici’s board is currently comprised of Bruce Fenton, former executive director of the Bitcoin Foundation and founder of Atlantic Financial; Clay Corbus, SVP of Clean Energy Fuels Corp.; Robert Shapiro, chairman of Sonecon, Inc., Senior Fellow of the Georgetown University School of Business, and advisor to the International Monetary Fund; and Jonathan Johnson, president of Medici Ventures and board member of Overstock.com.

“Having become familiar with Overstock and Medici’s vision for blockchain technology, I am very excited to serve on the Medici board,” said de Soto. “Medici is a leader in a number of areas where blockchain is making an impact. I look forward to helping it implement further solutions, including systems that will help advance the property rights of the global poor.”

“Both Patrick and Hernando bring to the table invaluable depth and breadth of experience to the Medici board,” said Johnson. “Patrick has for years been a visionary in the blockchain space, and Hernando has for decades been regarded as one of the greatest economic minds on the planet. I’m pleased to have them join us.”

About Medici Ventures:

Launched in 2014, Medici Ventures is a wholly owned subsidiary of Overstock.com, Inc., created to leverage blockchain technology to solve real-world problems with transparent, efficient and secure solutions. Medici Ventures has a growing portfolio of groundbreaking blockchain-focused investments, including t0.com, DeSoto, Bitt, Peernova, SettleMint, Factom, IdentityMind, Spera, Symbiont, and Voatz. The company’s majority-owned financial technology company, t0.com, executed the world’s first blockchain-based stock offering in December 2016.

This press release contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Such forward-looking statements include all statements other than statements of historical fact. Additional information regarding factors that could materially affect results and the accuracy of the forward-looking statements contained herein may be found in the Overstock’s Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2017, which was filed with the SEC on November 8, 2017, and any subsequent filings with the SEC.

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