There’s little challenging the potential of bitcoin today. The digital currency went through a slight swoon in recent weeks only to rally once again to yet another record high, now looking to overtake the $12,000 level as it looks like long-awaited institutional money is going to start flowing into the cryptocurrency markets. Evidence of this is provided by LedgerX opening futures trading of bitcoin on October 20 and now the Chicago Mercantile Exchange letting traders test the water with bitcoin futures on Monday.
While opportunities abound with bitcoin, there may not be a better fit than that with the cannabis industry, one plagued with banking problems directly related to the plant remaining a Schedule I drug at the federal level. As such, banks are apprehensive about touching any money derived from the cannabis industry, leaving countless dispensaries, growers, consumers, etc. with negligible options to conduct transactions.
Once solely an expert in mobile payments, now a diversified holding company, SinglePoint, Inc. (SING) is running with the idea of using technology to solve banking problems in the cannabis industry and providing full-service solutions to companies and consumers alike. The Seattle-based company has employed horizontal and vertical expansion tactics to take the concept of integrating bitcoin payment technology into a turnkey business management solution, complete with inventory control, bitcoin payments and more. In aggregate, the model covers both business-to-business and business-to-consumer markets, giving SinglePoint exposure to the complete market spectrum.
In its efforts, SinglePoint has successfully raised capital and recently acquired additional companies keeping the company firmly entrenched in the “picks and shovels” aspect of the legal marijuana business. All told, SinglePoint has made four acquisitions in 2017 alone, with more reportedly on the docket by year’s end. While those units drive revenue, SinglePoint teamed with AppSwarm (SWRM) to co-market mobile applications geared towards the cannabis industry under the moniker SingleSeed, a subsidiary of SinglePoint.
The company also announced today a joint venture relationship with Smart Cannabis Corporation (SCNA) in which SinglePoint will license and market Smart Cannabis’ SMART APP, an industry specific application that enables cultivators to control entire operations from a mobile device.
Ushering-In Next-Generation Cannabis Technology
On November 15, SinglePoint took a major step towards realizing the opportunity to solve cannabis payment issue – and any high-risk payment for that matter – with the soft launch of a bitcoin exchange at app.singleseed.com. Leveraging its experience in innovating mobile payments, SinglePoint built the cutting-edge system to be able to instantly process credit and debit cards, clearing the high hurdle of cash-only transactions in the cannabis industry. The exchange is designed so that it can be incorporated at companies ranging from convenient stores to cannabis dispensaries anywhere where marijuana is legal in some form, aligning SinglePoint to build its brand and a nationwide presence.
As it stands, marijuana is legal for both recreational and medical uses in Colorado, Oregon, Washington, California, Nevada, Maine, Massachusetts, Alaska and the District of Columbia. In another 21 states, cannabis is allowed solely for medical reasons.
Users need only to visit the website and complete the sign-up form and identification verification to enable an account beforehand or can opt to complete the process at the point of sale. According to SinglePoint, this model is commonly used internationally, but is yet to be offered in the United States.
“SinglePoint now has a base to continue innovating on for the cannabis payments space. Businesses are contacting us daily about payment services and with this solution we feel confident we will be on boarding many of these customers,” said Wil Ralston, SinglePoint President in a statement on the launch of the exchange. “This is just the beginning of a solution that will ultimately serve cannabis businesses much beyond payments. The overall goal is to have a fully integrated solution for businesses to manage their day-to-day operations from beginning to end,” he continued.
What Ralston is touching on is the other initiatives of SinglePoint that are currently in motion to command share in a market expected to reach $55.8 billion by 2025, according to the market experts at Grand View Research. The company has aggressively positioned itself at the intersection of bitcoin and cannabis to help both unlock their full potential. Two of the main purposes for legalizing marijuana are to curb black market sales and ensure consumer safety. These goals can only be achieved through strict regulatory monitoring, seed-to-sale tracking, lab testing and impeccable record keeping. While many think of bitcoin for its monetary uses, the underlying technology of blockchain has the capacity to address all of these areas as a secure public ledger. It is these capacities that SinglePoint is exploiting to provide robust solutions across the industry.
At over $8,200, bitcoin has delivered mouth-watering returns in recent years. Many analysts have argued that the cryptocurrency is in a bubble, yet it delivered returns of 120% in 2016, making it two years in a row that it was the world’s top performing currency. Given that bitcoin entered 2017 at under $1,000, it looks like a three-year streak is in the cards. Simply, bitcoin isn’t a fad. In fact, coupled with blockchain technology it’s certainly not hyperbole to think it is a once-in-a-lifetime type of technology that can change the look of how countless numbers of transactions transpire and data is transferred, something that leadership at SinglePoint is not overlooking.
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