Medici Ventures, the blockchain accelerator and subsidiary of Overstock.com, has made a seven-figure investment in blockchain startup VinX.
By registering these futures as tokens on a blockchain, the startup believes it will be possible to follow the wine to its origin and cut out the fakes that plague the industry.
While the exact sum of the investment is not being made public, Medici Ventures president Jonathan Johnson told CoinDesk that his firm acquired 20 percent of VinX.
Johnson said that Medici was attracted to the startup's blockchain use case, explaining:
It's not the only firm making a move to put wine on a blockchain, however. Chainvine, a Swedish startup with a similar vision, raised $3 million this summer, and Everledger, known for tracking the provenance of diamonds, claimed two years ago to have registered the first-ever bottle of wine on a shared ledger.
VinX was founded by Jacob Ner-David, a co-founder and chairman of Jezreel Valley Winery in Israel. He also has experience working at tech startups.
In a statement, Ner-David framed his company's mission as aligned with that of Overstock, the e-commerce giant founded in 1999 by Patrick Byrne, who later became a prominent evangelist for bitcoin and blockchain technology in general.
By "bringing consumers in direct contact with producers early in the wine-making cycle," Ner-David said, "we are riding the wave of direct-to-consumer, which Overstock has been a leader of for almost 20 years."
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