CannabisNewsWire Editorial Coverage: While skepticism of bitcoin remains, this most popular of the cryptocurrencies continues skyrocketing in value and gaining traction in various industries. Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are proving especially valuable as a solution for high-risk industries like cannabis, which remains largely unbanked in the United States due to marijuana’s continued status as a Schedule 1 drug under the Controlled Substances Act. Enterprising companies like SinglePoint, Inc. (OTC: SING) (SING Profile) are utilizing cryptocurrency as a means of bypassing federal restrictions and providing cannabis businesses with the financial transaction solutions they so critically need. SinglePoint recently entered into a multiphase joint venture with Smart Cannabis Corp. (OTC: SCNA) relative to this endeavor, and through this and other strategic joint ventures, collaborations and internal application development is energetically striving to provide a compliant payments solution for the cannabis industry. Other standout players exemplifying the big potential of cryptocurrency-related ventures include Bitcoin Services Inc. (OTC: BTSC), Square, Inc. (NYSE: SQ) and PayPal Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: PYPL).
Whether you are skeptical about bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies or believe the future of finance lies within them, the steamrolling growth of these virtual currencies is undeniable. Earlier this year in Japan, cryptocurrencies became nationally recognized as a legal form of payment, and initial coin offerings (ICOs) have jumped from raising just a few hundred million dollars in 2016 to raising more than $3 billion in 2017 (http://cnw.fm/zs5Ky). So far during December, bitcoin has broken the $17,000 mark in terms of value per coin, which is an astronomical rise from where the cryptocurrency sat at the commencement of 2017—just under $1,000 per coin as of Jan. 1 (http://cnw.fm/1KnDQ).
In serving unbanked and under-banked markets like the cannabis industry, the potential of cryptocurrency is clear. And even if marijuana becomes federally legal in the United States, the crypto solutions being pioneered by companies like SinglePoint (SING) will continue to have application in serving these and other enterprises—both high-risk and low.
SinglePoint has become a first mover in the U.S. with its proprietary bitcoin payments solution, which enables cannabis merchants and customers to respectively sell and purchase marijuana and marijuana-related products using credit and debit cards through the vehicle of bitcoin. The solution is fully KYC-AML compliant and can be deployed in any business, so while it is designed to serve cannabis businesses its potential doesn’t end there.
The solution, known as SingleSeed Payments, can be used in any state where marijuana enjoys legal status. Customers can sign up for the service at the point of sale or set up an account prior to visiting a cannabis dispensary. They can then conveniently make bitcoin-powered purchases using their debit and credit cards, just as they would buy any type of merchandise in any other type of store.
SinglePoint’s solution will also allow marijuana dispensaries to digitally track their product inventories and upload related data, such as photos and product descriptions. When a customer purchases a product, it will be automatically deducted from the merchant’s inventory listings.
SinglePoint’s proprietary bitcoin exchange (app.singleseed.com) was soft-launched on Nov. 15, and its official launch is slated for the first quarter of 2018.
If at a future point the U.S. government legalizes marijuana at the federal level, SinglePoint’s solution will be poised to spread even farther as an optimal means of processing retail cannabis payments via cryptocurrency. The company’s ultimate goal is to offer a fully integrated solution that will enable businesses of all kinds—not just cannabis enterprises—to manage their day-to-day operations from start to finish.
Key components of SinglePoint’s expansion strategies include acquisitions and partnerships, and the company has been pursuing both with aplomb as it solidifies its position within the cannabis and cryptocurrency markets. As previously mentioned, SinglePoint recently entered into a joint venture with Smart Cannabis (SCNA), having identified the joint venture as another prime opportunity to make a major move into California before blanket marijuana legalization takes place in that state in January. SinglePoint previously acquired Discount Indoor Garden Supply in California (http://cnw.fm/DIeU0) and also invested in California-based cannabis equipment supplier Convectium (http://cnw.fm/5rA5a).
In partnering with Smart Cannabis, SinglePoint gains a unique opportunity to capture significant market share within California’s explosive commercial marijuana cultivation market. Smart Cannabis’ products include automated greenhouse systems and a unique seed-to-sale app for marijuana growers. Through this joint venture, the two companies plan to license Smart Cannabis’ SMARTAPP and sell it to growers as well as incorporate bitcoin currency on the app, making it both a seed-to-sale and payment mechanism.
SinglePoint has also formalized a previously announced joint venture agreement with AppSwarm (SWRM) to begin developing a proprietary delivery application allowing licensed delivery companies and licensed cannabis dispensaries to securely and safely make in-home deliveries of marijuana products.
In yet another move to strengthen SinglePoint’s footing within the cannabis and cryptocurrency markets, the company has signed an agreement with leading fintech solutions provider Global Payout (GOHE) to advance and streamline the process involved in delivering payment applications. MoneyTrac Technology, Inc. (“MTRAC”), a majority-owned subsidiary of Global Payout, is at the vanguard of developing various payment solutions within the cannabis industry and has executed numerous recent partnerships to significantly expand its network within the marijuana market. SinglePoint plans to leverage its own mobile payments expertise and other mobile services to further bolster MTRAC’s technology platform and add value to its services.
“Through strategic joint ventures and inside development of applications we are pushing hard on providing a compliant solution to the cannabis industry,” SinglePoint President Wil Ralston said, as quoted in a recent press release (http://cnw.fm/jXT2M). “Our team and others have worked well in collaboration, and believe we are not far away from an official launch of this solution in the first quarter of 2018. This will be a major step for SinglePoint and our partners.”
Strategic acquisitions have fostered significant corporate growth for SinglePoint, and the company’s management team is preparing to make further acquisitions and also to invest a substantial amount of equity and cash into other companies during 2018.
As management noted in a recent recap of 2017 (http://cnw.fm/7uW3w), SinglePoint entered into a rapid pace of growth at the outset of the year and recently marked a corporate milestone as it notched a $100 million-dollar market cap. SinglePoint has also brought in just over $1 million in funding and has access to an additional $3 million, and the company has increased revenue and assets throughout the year and foresees significant increases during 2018.
The validity of cryptocurrency-related ventures is also being exemplified in the activities of players like Bitcoin Services (BTSC), which, among its endeavors, provides bitcoin escrow services, develops and commercializes blockchain software, and also mines cryptocurrency. BTSC’s stock has made an impressive jump during 2017, starting out the year at just $0.01 per share and climbing to a YTD high of $0.45 per share near the end of November. This year, BTSC formed Crypto Capital Corp., a new subsidiary, to develop a crypto wallet that will let users securely store various digital currencies in one wallet.
Major names like Square (SQ) and PayPal (PYPL) are also breaking into the cryptocurrency space, with Square recently launching a trial that allows some of its Cash App users to buy and sell bitcoin (http://nnw.fm/3kzWT) and PayPal empowering its users to purchase bitcoin through marketplaces like Paxful.
While the future of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin is hotly debated, there is no denying the current superstar status of these virtual moneys. As the value of bitcoin continues to climb and climb, more and more major players are looking for ways to get involved. Enterprising companies like those named are demonstrating that, whether cryptocurrency represents the future of commerce or is just a fad with a bubble that is certain to burst, it continues to be a hot commodity in the present and has definite application in serving major markets like the cannabis industry.
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