Jonathan Johnson very modestly describes himself as “a recovering lawyer.” A lawyer by training, Jonathan was Overstock.com’s general counsel before becoming president. Jonathan and Patrick Byrne, Overstock.com’s founder and CEO, took Overstock from a private startup to a publicly traded company with over $2 billion in sales and 2,000 employees. They have been good at seeing new opportunities.
Overstock.com has never been afraid of making moves. In 2014 they were the first major online retailer to accept bitcoin as a payment, and in the first 22 hours, they received over 800 orders worth $126,000 in bitcoin. Jonathan Johnson (and Patrick Byrne) jumped into the blockchain mosh pit four years ago because they saw big potential in applying the blockchain to financial systems. Jonathan became the president of a new Overstock subsidiary that was created to manage and oversee company investments in innovative companies building blockchain solutions.
They called the new company Medici Ventures, named after Medici Bank of Florence, the most successful European bank in the 15th century. Medici Bank was an early disruptor in 15th-century Europe that invented, among other things, the double entry system of tracking debits and credits, deposits and withdrawals. The name seemed appropriate and Medici Ventures was born!
Under Jonathan’s leadership. Medici Ventures has made big investments in companies with innovative blockchain solutions. Jonathan, along with his friend and mentor, Patrick Byrne, believes that “blockchain is going to change the world more than the internet has.” We think you’ll enjoy our interview with Jonathan Johnson, a bright, articulate “recovering lawyer” who is making bold moves in an uncertain world!