Bitcoin, Blockchain and… Marijuana

April 21, 2016     By : Sofia

No, there is no mistake here. Bitcoin and blockchain technology have actually found its way into the marijuana industry with some very interesting companies “hiding” in the shade till the moment the topic becomes a bit less sensitive or a bit more explored. The part of the population that is involved in the medical marijuana industry has been joking around April 20 all day, but the companies we are about to look at are quite serious about the intention to bring the technology of the future into a shadow business.

The first company worth looking at is Tokken. Tokken is a mobile platform that extends banking services to cash-intensive, unbankable businesses. The company was launched with the aim to address one of the biggest regulatory discontinuities of the 21st century – legal cannabis and banking. Realizing the greater need for a consumer- focused, secure payment system in other cash-heavy industries, founders have created a platform that leverages technological innovation in cryptography and data management to offer banking and payment services to a growing segment of the underbanked and unbanked. Tokken’s platform is designed to provide integrated proxy banking and payment processing services to cash-intensive businesses (currently focusing on the legal cannabis industry). These enterprises are considered high-risk by most financial institutions due to their average daily volume of cash that exposes them to potential money laundering schemes.

Serica is another example of a blockchain company in the cannabis industry. Serica brings software engineering, cryptofinance, financial custody and blockchain technology to traditional custodian finance. It allows entrepreneurs to establish their business legitimacy through the largest network of verified customers in order to grow conversions, registrations, memberships and average order sizes. Serica’s Secure Socket Layering Technology encrypts all communications between a user’s personal wallet and Serica. Serica uses the blockchain in order to track and record every purchase of medical marijuana providing businesses an easy way to accept payments online.

PotCoin is the first digital currency created to facilitate transactions within the legalized cannabis industry. PotCoin was designed to empower, secure and facilitate the legal cannabis community’s transactions by creating a cryptocurrency for this industry. PotCoin removes the need for cash transactions and encourages buying through consumer incentives. The company states that its mission is to economize the cannabis industry. PotCoin as a digital currency is an alternative payment network for cannabis users, merchants and industry professionals. PotCoin has no affiliation with and other cryptocurrency or related exchanges. PotCoin collects no transaction fees and sells no cryptocurrency to the public.

Hypur was formed in early 2014 to create a complete technology solution that benefits financial institutions, merchants, consumers and government taxation and regulatory bodies. The company enables commerce for banks, cash-intensive businesses and their customers. Hypur is currently being used by multiple financial institutions in the Southwest, enabling them to efficiently and confidently bank cash-intensive businesses with the company’s solution: an integrated suite of tools that provides transparency while eliminating the costly, error-prone and time-intensive manual compliance processes that erode profits. The Hypur mobile payment app is actively growing in the cash-intensive marketplace (you already got the idea of the market we are talking about), powering revenue for merchants and enabling consumers to enjoy a speedy, convenient, safe and private way to pay.

Aside from the blockchain companies mentioned above, there is a narrow circle of payments solutions providers powering cannabis industry:

KIND Financial offers a seed-to-sale software and financial technology for the cannabis Industry, guiding cannabis businesses to transact safely, securely and in compliance. KIND Pay is the company’s technology platform for cash-free mobile payments and customer loyalty programs. KIND Pay integrates directly with KIND’s Agrisoft seed-to-sale software, providing cannabis businesses with the ability to accept cash-free payments, and report on the transaction data needed to maintain compliance.

American Green, a cannabis technology company, offers Zazzz – the world’s first consumer-operated marijuana vending machine. The American Green Machine is designed to make age-verified vending of cannabis products by providing a layer of authorization using the same systems as pharmacies for purchase regulation. All products are promised to be secure inside of Zazzz. The company’s software easily tracks all purchases for government mandated inventory control.

Green Bits offers a POS solution for marijuana trading. The company’s iPad-based register app is built for speed, simplicity and security so that it’s easy to install, troubleshoot and learn. The Green Bits Back Office is a Web-based portal for all transaction data.

SPARE is a cash-dispensing platform. Merchants dispense cash without an ATM and hold back the amount they are charging for the product. SPARE provides dispensaries with the ability to cut the cash they hold on hands and legalize the transactions. Since the cannabis industry is cash-heavy, and cash brings certain costs and risks, SPARE helps dispensaries diminish them working as a third-party ATM.

PayQwick enables legal marijuana commerce through its app. PayQwick is the first federally registered money services business licensed by the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions for the recreational marijuana industry. The company provides a fast, easy and safe way to make purchases at I-502 (recreational marijuana) retailers throughout the state. Retailers cannot legally accept credit cards, and cash can easily be lost or stolen. PayQwick gives a simple and discreet way to pay for your recreational marijuana. PayQwick’s proprietary BSA/AML Compliance Program is custom tailored to the I-502 recreational marijuana industry in Washington and the company takes responsibility for all regulatory compliance.

Sofia

Sofia is a contributing writer for LTP based in New York. She is a market research professional skilled in data analysis and visualization. Sofia has an extensive experience in consumer behavior studies and marketing analytics. She is passionate about disruptive startups with innovative business models that are having a powerful impact on the industries.

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