Medici Ventures, a wholly owned subsidiary of Overstock.com, has announced a controlling interest in Bitt by making an additional $8 million equity purchase. Bitt has been connected with the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, after signing a contract in 2019 to pilot a digital version of the EC dollar.
Medici Ventures & Bitt
Medici Ventures, a blockchain focused subsidiary of Overstock.com, recently announced a $8 million equity purchase in Bitt. After the additional investment in the financial technology company, Medici Ventures now has a controlling interest. Medici first invested $4 million in 2016, and then $3 million in 2018. With Bitt focusing on the adoption of central bank digital currencies, Medici now believes they are in a prime position to help that come to fruition.
Jonathan Johnson, Medici Ventures President & Overstock CEO, stated that:
“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. 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.”
Central Bank Digital Currency
Back in 2019, the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank and Bitt signed a contract to pilot a digital version of the Eastern Caribbean ( EC ) dollar. The digital dollar will be leveraged by financial institutions in ECCU member countries to enable peer-to-peer transactions with merchants and consumers.
According to Brian Popelka, the CEO of Bitt:
“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.”
By facilitating transactions through smartphones, it will eliminate the need for physical cash. According to Bitt’s website, the benefits of a central bank digital currency include:
Central banks could save around 90% by issuing digital dollars. Cost savings would come from not needing to store, distribute, mint, and issue physical notes and coins.
Enhanced compliance by implementing digital serial numbers to digital dollars. This gives central banks the ability to track and audit transactions and better manage CFT ( combating of financing of terrorism ).
Cryptographic infrastructure creates an environment where the central bank digital currency can not be counterfeited.
Software created by Bitt gives central banks the power to oversee real-time information on transactions that are taking place with the CBDC ( number of transactions, speed, velocity of circulation, and much more ).
Unlike physical cash, central banks can instantly issue and distribute digital dollars.
With central banks having direct control over a CBDC, they can be better positioned to eliminate illegal activities. Some powers include freezing or blacklisting digital wallets that are transacting in the CBDC if they deem it necessary.
Provide stability to a financial system with a digital dollar that stays stable in value over time.
A CBDC can put economies in a better position to serve the unbanked, underbanked, and underserved populations. A high percentage of these individuals have a smartphone that could enable CBDC usage.
CBDC are believed to improve economic expansion in various ways. Some of these methods include lower interest rates, and reduced monetary costs. A growing number of central banks across the globe continue to experiment with CBDCs.
In an attempt to ease adoption, Bitt’s CBDC framework is highly interoperable with the current payment systems.
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