Market For Blockchain In 2019?
Jonathan Johnson of Medici Ventures for Overstock.com recently discussed with Coidesk his venture fund’s goals for the coming year. He stated that the 19 portfolio companies are aiming to develop new ideas and methods to execute them. There is also a chance that Medici will become a public company due to the amount of investment flooding into the company and flagship online retailing site.
“We want our portfolio companies to focus on having their products in production.” Further, “When you have a product, it starts to open up the creative juices, people start asking ‘how we can use it’ and it changes the discussion. When it’s mostly about technology, people want to talk about the Merkle tree, mining . . . All that talk gets confusing and in the way of progress.”
The company’s CEO, Steven Hopkins, further added in his own words, that product delivery can shift the narrative. He believes that it is important to discuss with others more than how blockchain applications work, but it is also imperative to show them how “amazing” the technology can be by launching blockchain products. Those who purchase the products are already ahead on the learning curve.
Johnson referred to the sample of Voatz as an example as an early success in the company’s portfolio. Voatz is a blockchain-based voting application whose pilot has been used in various countries. Granted, despite the praise and growth that it has received, there have also been criticism of the application. Even with the criticisms though, Medici finds the application’s results to be promising.
“Voatz’s debut in West Virginia went really well. It was really limited, and I think the way Voatz and the state rolled it over the primaries, and then during the general election, was wise. I looked at some letters that come to Voatz from the military folks and said things like: ‘You finally made me like to vote.’”
Johnson believes that Voatz can change the trust mechanism in general elections, leading to more security and positive public perception.
As for Medici’s focus on Overtock.com, the company seems to have experienced a massive total net loss amounting to millions of dollars. According to Johnson, there are plans to sell the retail business and to refocus on blockchain technology. Medici is also planning on launching tZero, a regulated exchange for security tokens that may enhance transparency on Wall Street.
The platform’s exchange may be up and running by early January.