Bitcoin’s most innovative merchant has a new blockchain lead.

E-commerce giant Overstock announced this week that chairman of the board and former candidate for Utah governor Jonathan Johnson will take a role as president of Medici, the division launched in 2014 to explore potential applications for blockchain technology. Johnson will also remain chairman of the board.

In statements, CEO Patrick Byrne lauded Johnson as the right choice for the role, while praising Medici as an effort that would pioneer innovations in capital markets.

Byrne said:

“Jonathan shares my pro-freedom instincts, and therefore also shares my excitement about the blockchain revolution’s potential to reduce society’s dependence upon certain rent-seeking and capture-prone centralized institutions.”

With the announcement, Johnson will oversee Medici projects including its signature effort tØ, as well as its various investments in bitcoin and blockchain firms including Bitt and Peernova.

The move is perhaps not surprising given Johnson’s past public appearances on behalf of the company. In January 2014, he appeared before regulators in New York as part of hearings that would result in the creation of the BitLicense.

The event saw Johnson discuss the opportunity bitcoin might provide for mainstream retailers, while showcasing the benefits bitcoin payments could bring to consumers.

Image via Hire JJ

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