Types of Startups Tackling the Cannabis Financing ProblemFebruary 16, 2017 • By Danielle
Cannabis businesses don’t want to feel like drug dealers anymore. Here are four types of startups that are coming to the rescue.
Tokken, The Cannabis Paypal Startup
Tokken’s mission is to support the marijuana industry by allowing money to be regulated, taxed, and normalized in the economy.
Much like Paypal, Tokken allows customers to make purchases with an app on their smartphone without having to deal with cash. It provides mobile payments (tokkenPay) and POS services (tokkenSell), as well as a blockchain-based compliance tool that provides data integrity and transparency to both parties.
To do this, Tokken utilizes the Bitcoin blockchain, and partners with companies such as Blockscore that offers real-time identify verification and business verification, and Tierion that provides the API and tools to create a verifiable record of any data or business process on the blockchain.
“One of the federal government requirements that precludes banks from operating in the cannabis space is the ability to record and ensure complete data integrity,” says Tokken’s CEO Zarrad, “We use [blockchain’s] indelible ledger as a redundancy mechanism…[to] prove to regulators and law enforcement that every timestamped transaction recorded through our system hasn’t been tampered with.”
With experience as a regulator and in the financial industry, Zarrad, 36, already has been able to attract interest from banks such as Fourth Corner Credit Union and dispensaries such as Ballpark Holistic Dispensary.
How It Works: Dispensary customers 1) download the Tokken app, 2) link their bank accounts or credit cards to the app, 3) go to a partnering dispensary and pay using a mobile wallet, such as Venmo. 4) The transaction is recorded on Tokken’s blockchain ledger. 5) The retailer is issued “Tokkens,” a branded digital currency exclusively within the company’s system. 6) The retailer can convert Tokkens to its respective US dollars, transfer them, or pay suppliers and growers who are also using Tokken.
Medicinal Genomics, The Research Startup
Medical Genomics uses cutting-edge DNA technology to research cannabis genetics and develop products that help growers, dispensaries, and testing laboratories ensure the safety, consistency, and quality of cannabis.
It uses the Bitcoin blockchain to map out the DNA sequencing of cannabis strains and implement strain verification and stability programs. It also creates a QR code for every sequenced strain on Kannapedia that business owners can downloaded and label on their products.
Medical Genomics’ technology gives patients and other consumers a way to verify a strain as well as its therapeutic effects, which can improve intellectual property issues in the marijuana industry.
Potcoin, The Smaller Bitcoin Startup
Potcoin, much like Bitcoin, is a a cryptocurrency (i.e. digital currency) and payment system that is created and held electronically. Potcoin allows peer-to-peer (P2P) transactions without the need for an intermediary, such as a bank. This means that it is independent of any government or bank, and does not carry high fees that credit card companies charge.
The Potcoin platform includes a PotCoin Seed Bank for growers to redeem coins directly for cannabis seeds as well as a PotCoin Rewards Program for community members.
To get an idea of what Bitcoin is, please read our post: Intro to Blockchain Bitcoin in Cannabis Financing.
Alternatives to Potcoin and Bitcoin include XCI, Metal, Dopecoin, and Cannabis Coin.
Kind Financial, The Seed to Sale Software and Hardware Startup
Kind financial offers a “seed-to-sale” software and hardware solution that allows cannabis businesses and government organizations to track their cannabis operations and ensure compliance with regulations every step of the way – from “seed to sale.”
To get a better idea on what Seed to Sale software is and how cloud computing technology is used, please read our posts on Discovering Seed to Sale Software and Opportunities in the Seed to Sale Software Industry.
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