In the summer of 2016, when bitcoin was beginning its ascendance to a $20,000 all-time-high, Bitt, a Barbados-based startup, did something that at the time seemed rather bizarre: It issued a cryptocurrency backed by the Barbadian dollar. Many wondered why anyone would want to corrupt the efficiency of issuing currency on a shared, distributed ledger by introducing value controlled by a central authority.
Then came Facebook, which earlier this year announced its plans to issue Libra, a cryptocurrency backed by a basket of currencies issued by central banks and designed to have all the benefits of blockchain, with the price stability of the strongest fiat currencies. Could this be the way to get people to actually spend cryptocurrency instead of just hold it like an investment?
The technology will allow tZERO to record trades as hashes anchored on a public blockchain, verify previous trades and keep an immutable record of the transactions on its platform, according to the announcement.
The method, tZERO CEO Saum Noursalehi said, “can be used in our suite of products, as well as licensed to companies across various industries that are seeking to maintain a tamper-proof and auditable record of time-series-based data.”
It can also link the settlement of tokenized securities on a public blockchain with legacy trading systems and anchor data about the resulting on-chain settlements into public blockchains, the company said.
“For example, off-chain trade data and on-chain settlement data occurring on an Ethereum mainnet can be combined and anchored into the Bitcoin blockchain for added resiliency, security and transparency,” tZERO explained.
The World Bank estimates that fewer than 30 percent of the world’s population has the official title to their land. In Zambia, for instance, getting the deed for your home could change your life. The value of your house increases tenfold, and you become eligible for government welfare services and bank loans.
But the process is expensive, laborious, and occasionally corrupt. There are more than 500,000 land records in the Zambian land administration, but only 176,000 of these records are complete. And, with the government issuing an average of just seven thousand land titles a year for the past decade, it’d take the government dozens of years to get its act straight.
Early in 2014, Overstock.com became the first major retailer to begin accepting Bitcoin as a form of retail payment, and since that time it has continued to invest heavily in the cryptocurrency.
In the first day accepting the digital currency, Overstock saw a 4.33% increase in online sales, representing $126,000 of Bitcoin. Since that time, payments in the form of Bitcoin have cooled but remain steady. There are now more than a dozen retailers who accept Bitcoin as a form of payment. While Bitcoin accounts for less than one quarter of one percent of Overstock.com's online payments, depending on day-to-day fluctuation, the company continues to see it as an important part of its retail strategy.
New wine buying app Vinsent combines the concept of “wine futures,” one of the most traditional forms of purchasing wine, with blockchain technology, ensuring that consumers receive what they ordered and enabling the use of cryptocurrency for purchase. Founded in 2018 by Jacob Ner-David, a tech entrepreneur and chairman of Israel’s Jezreel Valley Winery, Gil Picovsky, an investment professional, and Ron Prashker, strategy and marketing expert and partner at Italy’s Salcheto winery, Vinsent offers consumers an opportunity to purchase wine directly from wineries while it is still in the barrel. After noticing that there is almost no connection at all between many consumers and the wineries whose product they drink, Ner-David and his partners combined the Bordelaise concept of En Primeur with the American model of direct-to-consumer winery clubs.
Utah County is to pilot the mobile voting app from Voatz in its municipal primary election in August.
According to a press release on Tuesday, the county will offer the blockchain-based voting service to active-duty military, their eligible dependents and overseas voters. The pilot is a collaboration between the Utah County Elections Division, Voatz, Tusk Philanthropies and the National Cybersecurity Center.
As part of the Tusk Philanthropies effort to increase voter turnout, Voatz has previously been trialed in municipal elections in Denver, as well as two primaries in West Virginia – the first time a U.S. state has offered blockchain-based mobile voting in federal elections.
Overstock’s digital currency arm tZERO has released an Android version of its recently launched cryptocurrency mobile application, according to a press release published on July 25.
Initially, the tZERO Crypto App rolled out in late June supporting two major coins Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH). The launch of the digital wallet and exchange services app for crypto was coupled with the release of its iOS version.
Per the recent announcement, tZERO utilizes biometric authentication for additional security and also enables investors to use a unique private key recovery system to restore their funds and coins in the event they lose their private keys. TZERO CEO Saum Noursalehi said:
Overstock’s security token platform subsidiary tZERO is growing its leadership team as it prepares to onboard more tokens.
Announced Wednesday, the company has hired three new senior managers that will turn tZERO’s leadership structure into one more resembling a corporation than a startup.
Firstly, Brooke Navarro, now head of issuance at tZERO, spend almost a decade at Barclays and became one of the few female managing directors there in 2018, focusing on equity markets in tech, media and telecom. According to tZERO’s CEO Saum Noursalehi, the firm had been looking for “the right person” for six months before finally finding Navarro.
I am quite pleased with the progress our team is making. I have been communicating with you, our token holders, through the Overstock.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:OSTK) quarterly earnings calls, SEC disclosure, and periodic event-driven press releases. I realize I can do more to keep you apprised of the status and prospects of the business. This letter is a first step in that direction. We have also hired a Head of Investor Relations to help.
This letter addresses: why I believe tZERO is such a significant business opportunity, the milestones we have already hit this year, and the planned roadmap for the remainder of the year.