Medici Ventures Backs Wine Blockchain Project VinX

Medici Ventures to facilitate VinX’s goal of introducing blockchain to the wine industry

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Leading blockchain accelerator Medici Ventures, is investing in VinX, an Israel-based company developing a blockchain platform to streamline wine futures trading while reducing fraud through secure supply-chain tracking from product provenance.

“Like any economy, the wine industry has difficulty scaling its middlemen-heavy systems in parallel with the growing demands of an increasing global market,” said Patrick M. Byrne, CEO and founder of Overstock.com. “VinX’s steps in tokenizing wine futures while allowing wine enthusiasts to know without a doubt that the bottles they purchase are filled with authentic wines will position the entire industry as a model of a new global economy that replaces old boys’ networks with frictionless trust through technology.”

“We are so excited to partner with the Overstock/Medici Ventures family to help us realize the VinX vision, which meshes exactly with the core values of Medici Ventures,” said Jacob Ner-David, VinX co-founder and CEO. “VinX is democratizing the capital structure of the wine industry by bringing consumers in direct contact with producers early in the wine-making cycle. We are riding the wave of direct-to-consumer, which Overstock has been a leader of for almost 20 years. In addition, because we are registering all wine futures as tokens on a blockchain, we are bringing a powerful validating force that will go a long way toward reducing fraud. VinX looks forward to benefiting from the many years of e-commerce experience of Overstock and the blockchain leadership of Medici Ventures and the rest of the Medici Ventures portfolio.”

VinX plans to create a token-based digital wine futures platform based on the Bordeaux futures model that allows for the selling and trading of wine futures on a transparent and secure blockchain to create an even playing field for transactions on a global scale. VinX’s platform aims to reduce fraud in the wine industry by using the secure and immutable aspects of blockchain to track provenance of wine to end consumer at a cost bearable to the industry.

Experts conservatively estimate that 20 percent of all wine in the world has counterfeit labeling, so what a consumer believes is a high-end bottle of wine could have a decidedly more local origin. It is often difficult for even the most seasoned collector to identify fakes. To combat this growing concern, VinX plans to use blockchain to connect wine lovers directly with wineries, eliminating fraudulent middlemen within the industry and providing customers with a direct line to the source of the products.

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. The company’s majority-owned financial technology company, tZERO, executed the world’s first blockchain-based stock offering in December 2016.

VinX is a blockchain based platform that enables wineries to streamline funding by selling wine futures and developing direct connections with their consumers. Founded and advised by a team that includes winery owners and  tech entrepreneurs, VinX is positioned to bring positive disruption to the $300+ Billion wine industry.

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About Richard Kastelein

Founder and publisher of industry publication Blockchain News (EST 2015), a partner at ICO services collective Token.Agency ($750m+ and 90+ ICOs and STOs), director of education company Blockchain Partners (Oracle Partner) – Vancouver native Richard Kastelein is an award-winning publisher, innovation executive and entrepreneur. He sits on the advisory boards of some two dozen Blockchain startups and has written over 1500 articles on Blockchain technology and startups at Blockchain News and has also published pioneering articles on ICOs in Harvard Business Review and Venturebeat. Irish Tech News put him in the top 10 Token Architects in Europe.

Kastelein has an Ad Honorem - Honorary Ph.D. and is Chair Professor of Blockchain at China's first Blockchain University in Nanchang at the Jiangxi Ahead Institute of Software and Technology. In 2018 he was invited to and attended University of Oxford's Saïd Business School for Business Automation 4.0 programme.  Over a half a decade experience judging and rewarding some 1000+ innovation projects as an EU expert for the European Commission's SME Instrument programme as a startup assessor and as a startup judge for the UK government's Innovate UK division.

Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on Blockchain technology in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Beijing, Brussels, Bucharest, Dubai, Eindhoven, Gdansk, Groningen, the Hague, Helsinki, London (5x), Manchester, Minsk, Nairobi, Nanchang, Prague, San Mateo, San Francisco, Santa Clara (2x), Shanghai, Singapore (3x), Tel Aviv, Utrecht, Venice, Visakhapatnam, Zwolle and Zurich.

He is a Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Métis) whose writing career has ranged from the Canadian Native Press (Arctic) to the Caribbean & Europe. He's written occasionally for Harvard Business Review, Wired, Venturebeat, The Guardian and Virgin.com, and his work and ideas have been translated into Dutch, Greek, Polish, German and French. A journalist by trade, an entrepreneur and adventurer at heart, Kastelein's professional career has ranged from political publishing to TV technology, boatbuilding to judging startups, skippering yachts to marketing and more as he's travelled for nearly 30 years as a Canadian expatriate living around the world. In his 20s, he sailed around the world on small yachts and wrote a series of travel articles called, 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Seas' travelling by hitching rides on yachts (1989) in major travel and yachting publications. He currently lives in Groningen, Netherlands where he's raising three teenage daughters with his wife and sailing partner, Wieke Beenen.

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