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Medici Ventures, the wholly owned blockchain accelerator of Overstock.com Inc., has entered into a strategic agreement with Vital Chain, a Cleveland-based startup focused on digitizing birth and death certificates. Under the terms of the agreement, Medici Ventures will provide development and design services to Vital Chain in exchange for a minority equity stake in the company.

Vital Chain is majority owned by Ownum LLC.

The current process for creating an initial record of birth or death, ensuring validity, storing records, and issuing regenerated valid certificates is fragmented and inefficient, a news release states. Vital Chain’s  birth and death certificate solution utilizes blockchain technology to reduce reliance on legacy paper-based systems and allows for the digital issuance and management of vital records. The Vital Chain solution intends to integrate with partners across the vital record ecosystems, including health systems and government entities, helping them to increase efficiency, save time and reduce associated handling costs.

“Medici Ventures’ keiretsu is committed to accelerating the adoption of blockchain technology, and Vital Chain is a meaningful addition to our identity pillar,” said Jonathan Johnson, CEO of Overstock and president of Medici Ventures. “The digitization of vital records enables efficient and secure birth registry and death certification processes while enabling easier benefits management and other use of those records.”

Vital Chain CEO Shane Bigelow added: “Medici Ventures brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in helping companies like us to build meaningful technology in the identity realm. To have Medici, as the leader in the space, take an ownership stake in our company and involve us in their keiretsu is a great honor.  We look forward to building our position in the market and bringing digital vital records to people everywhere.”

Medici Ventures, Overstock.com’s wholly owned blockchain accelerator, was founded in 2014 with a mission to change the world by accelerating the adoption of blockchain technology, in order to fundamentally change the way in which we transact.