Bitcoin has certainly come a long way in the last few years–but even more so in 2017. Since the start of the year, the digital currency has increased from $998.47 to as high as $2,975.06 according to a Bitcoin.com chart, making it one of the best performing currencies so far in 2017.
While the cryptocurrency has dropped back slightly under the $2,500 level, it’s nothing short of clear that bitcoin is hot commodity in 2017. So much so, in fact, that the cannabis industry is opening its doors to accept bitcoin as a method of payment.
To that end, a PR Newswire press release dated June 7, 2017 stated “as a financial transaction option for currently ‘unbankable’ cannabis businesses in the US, bitcoin could be the perfect solution.”
With the marijuana industry project to grow from $6 billion in 2016 to $24 billion by 2026, according to New Frontier–although other predictions have the market reaching as high as $50 billion that year–the need for “adequate payment options” is becoming a growing necessity, the firm states.
According to the press release, the two companies are partnering together to create a “bitcoin payment solution” for the cannabis market. SinglePoint has already been providing solutions at a corporate level to cannabis businesses through its subsidiary, SingleSeed, by offering a number of mobile marketing and payment solutions, including: cashless ATM, Pay-by-Text, and text message marketing.
The release goes on to state that it has developed a way of proving customers with an easy payment option at cannabis dispensaries when using credit or debit cards through bitcoin technology. “The company’s end goal is to provide a bitcoin payment solution that can be easily implemented in any point-of-sale machine through a simple application download.”
In a separate press release from CFN Media Group, it states that with the debit and credit card payments, the “behind-the-scenes” technology would convert that payment into bitcoin as a way to avoid any issues with commercial payments.
“In January 2014, SinglePoint announced and started working on a bitcoin payment solution, shortly after we recognized the issue of minimal user adoption of digital currency,” SinglePoint CEO Greg Lambrecht said in the release. “The payments industry has rapidly changed since that time. There is now tremendous momentum and demand for bitcoin acceptance as an alternative form of payment. This joint venture with First Bitcoin Capital is perfect timing.”
The SinglePoint and First Bitcoin Capital partnership isn’t the only payment solution offered to the marijuana sector.
Start-up company POSaBIT is also in on the action, Bloomberg reports, whose technology is allegedly used in at least 30 dispensaries in Washington state.
“There’s no industry — whether it’s the production and sale of cannabis or the production and sale of a cup of coffee – that can operate safely, transparently or effectively without access to banks or other financial institutions and traditional services,” Jon Baugher, the company’s co-founder, told Bloomberg. “That’s where we thought we could leverage the use of digital currency.”
With bitcoin becoming official methods of payment–from Japan accepting the cryptocurrency as a method of payment to Russia taking steps to make bitcoin a legal method of payment by 2018, among others–one thing is for certain: bitcoin is here to stay.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Jocelyn Aspa, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.