NetworkNewsWire Coverage: Within America’s explosive legal cannabis market—projected to potentially reach a staggering $50 billion valuation by 20261—legal uncertainties and blockades continue to pose challenges. One of these challenges is a lack of banking options for marijuana merchants, who are largely forced to conduct cash transactions, as cannabis businesses currently do not have the backing of the FDIC and, consequently, do not have access to traditional banking options. Necessity is the mother of invention, and enterprising companies are endeavoring to skirt federal restrictions and provide cannabis companies with innovative financial transaction options to meet their growing needs. One company racing to fill this cannabis payment options void is standout player SinglePoint, Inc. (SING) (SING Profile), which is currently on the fast-track to debuting a payment processing solution utilizing cryptocurrency. This pioneering solution has been developed in collaboration with First Bitcoin Capital Corp. (OTC: BITCF). The validity and promising potential of bitcoin as a solution for marijuana vendors is apparent in view of the staggering success of bitcoin, evidenced in recent gains and in the activities of companies like Bitcoin Services, Inc. (OTC: BTSC), Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Overstock.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: OSTK).
As of August 14, bitcoin continued its hike to reach a record high of $4,302.36 per coin. Overall, bitcoin has gained about 80 percent since July and, since the start of 2017, has gained a whopping 257 percent2. Such activity clearly shows a promising future for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies like it.
SinglePoint (SING) is right at the cutting edge of employing cryptocurrency as a solution for businesses within the cannabis market. The company plans to launch a beta version of its bitcoin solution at the Las Vegas Marijuana Business MJBIZCON event, which takes place November 14-17.
SinglePoint’s new bitcoin exchange (http://nnw.fm/Ln5ot) is targeted at providing cannabis businesses with a user-friendly means of accepting debit and credit card payments and will give marijuana consumers the same convenience, allowing them to make purchases with their cards just as they would purchase any item at any other kind of store. SinglePoint has begun developing an in-house solution that would enable marijuana users to obtain bitcoin at any point of sale and to make instant purchases powered by bitcoin when all they have is a debit or credit card. When launched, this solution will be applicable to other markets, as well, and could be deployed by any type of business wishing to offer a bitcoin transaction option—not cannabis companies only.
SinglePoint’s bitcoin application will be KYC-AML compliant. Customers will be able to sign up for an account online prior to visiting a merchant, or they can do it in seconds right at the point of sale. Similar solutions have been deployed internationally, but SinglePoint is in an early-mover position to bring such technology to the United States. Though still a few months from its beta launch for the solution, SinglePoint is already amassing potential customers through its website.
SinglePoint recently purchased $Weed from First Bitcoin Capital (OTC: BITCF) and will incorporate this cannabis-specific cryptocurrency into its bitcoin solution, so cannabis dispensaries and consumers can accept/use either bitcoin, $Weed coin or both (http://nnw.fm/M9vYG). The recent initial coin offering (ICO) launch for the $Weed cryptocurrency resulted in an impressive yet illiquid market cap of almost $60 million.
SinglePoint and First Bitcoin Capital plan take a consumer-first approach and heavily invest in getting customers to sign up for cryptocurrency wallets in advance. The benefits of this approach include ensuring customers can make their in-store purchase as quickly as possible, and it will also enable merchants to build in loyalty programs, special offers and more as well as to gain insights regarding which products are being purchased, how many are being sold, etc.
As shown in the broad potential of SinglePoint’s cryptocurrency solution, bitcoin has widespread application that includes but also goes far beyond the cannabis market. For more on SinglePoint’s operations, visit the company’s IR Kit here: http://www.networknewswire.info/sing/ir/
Other companies, like Bitcoin Services Inc. (OTC: BTSC), are also working to offer cryptocurrency transaction options to consumers. In the first quarter of 2017, Bitcoin Services began mining its Dash cryptocurrency, and the company has also recently created a new subsidiary, Crypto Capital Corp., which is developing a new crypto currency wallet that will allow users to store multiple digital currencies all in one wallet. Bitcoin Services Inc. is an Internet-based company focused on bitcoin mining and blockchain software development.
Demand for bitcoin continues to increase with its price, and big-name retailers are shifting gears to accommodate this demand. Consumers throughout the world can now make purchases through electronic commerce giant Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) using bitcoin. While Amazon does not currently accept bitcoin directly, Purse.io connects bitcoin shoppers with Amazon gift card holders via an app. The bitcoin shopper selects a desired product on Amazon and creates a wish list for the item on Purse.io. The holder of an unwanted (and not redeemable for cash) Amazon gift card then purchases the bitcoin shopper’s desired item with the gift card, and the item is shipped to the bitcoin consumer. In exchange, the gift card holder receives a bitcoin payment for the gift card. This Purse.io feature has provided billions of shoppers with the option of making Amazon purchases on their iOS and Android devices using bitcoin. It also lets consumers who don’t have bank accounts or credit cards use Amazon’s e-commerce platform, and the service further enables merchants to register their Purse accounts and sell directly on Amazon’s e-commerce platform.
Another major e-commerce player, Overstock.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: OSTK), does accept bitcoin directly and stood out as the first major retailer to do so, commencing acceptance of the cryptocurrency in January 2014. Overstock.com partnered with bitcoin platform Coinbase to accept the digital currency. Later in 2014, the company also created subsidiary Medici Ventures to focus on the development and advancement of blockchain technology.
It seems clear that cryptocurrencies—with bitcoin shining as the most valuable among them—are here to stay and likely represent what the future of financial transactions will look like. As a prime solution for unbankable cannabis businesses and beyond, bitcoin seems to have a very bright future, indeed.
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