It seems the world is abuzz with the possibilities offered by cryptocurrency. For the unfamiliar, cryptocurrency is a digital form of currency that features no central location or institution, such as a bank. Security is kept extremely tight through complex cryptography. Aside from being a hot investment, cryptocurrency has also been touted as a possible solution to the cannabis industry’s “cash only” headaches. With the federal banking system still hesitant to assist such an immense new industry, cryptocurrency may offer cannabusinesses a safe way to trade without passing hard cash back and forth.
Investing in Marijuana Through Cryptocurrency
While BitCoin is the most widely known cryptocurrency in operation, there are several alternatives that have sprouted up over the last few years, some with a very specific focus. It’s not surprising that marijuana-focused cryptocurrencies exist with a wave starting in 2014 and continuing into the present. Cryptocurrency is still a gamble but we’ve pulled together information on 6 different marijuana-specific cryptocurrencies that may be well worth your attention. We tried to kjeep the information as up-to-date as possible using Coin Market Cap
but the fluctuations happen pretty rapidly.
PotCoin holds the distinction of being the first marijuana-focused cryptocurrency. Aside from the usual skepticism that greets the advent of a new cryptocurrency, there was a certain electricity to PotCoin as a new way of investing in marijuana when it debuted in 2014. The initial press buzz elevated PotCoin among crypto investors and cannabusiness enthusiasts alike but the real push came when former NBA player Dennis Rodman sported a PotCoin T-shirt in his recent travels to North Korea. PotCoin sponsored the trip and in turn found itself even more in the public eye. They also received media attention for installing a PotCoin ATM in the RiverRock Wellness Dispensary in Colorado. Popular trade sites like Poloniex
allow trading of PotCoin for other cryptocurrencies including BitCoin. Boasting a block time of 40 seconds (offering transactions even quicker than BitCoin) and Proof-of-Stake (PoS) algorithms, PotCoin is currently the reigning champion of cannabis-based cryptocurrencies. But investing in marijuana cryptocurrencies is still a risk and the throne can be usurped in just minutes. Introduction: January 2014 Max Token Number: 420 million Already Distributed: 219 million Market Cap: $31.4 million Price at time of writing: $0.14
Hot on the heels of PotCoin, DopeCoin also made its debut in 2014. Founded by Canadian developer Adam Howell, formerly known by his nickname “Dopey”, this cryptocurrency was clearly revealed as an attempt to help bring an element of security to people doing business in the cannabis industry, whether that business were deemed legal or not. Like PotCoin, DopeCoin also relies on PoS algorithms. DopeCoin’s vocal openness to black market exchanges has resulted in obvious controversy but, whether it's talked about or not, that’s a feature of pretty much every cryptocurrency. Introduction: February 2014 Max Token Number: 200 million Already Distributed: 117 million Market Cap: $11.2 million Price at time of writing: $0.10
HempCoin manages to stand apart from its peers by training its focus on the agricultural sector of the cannabis industry. Investing in marijuana cryptocurrencies obviously doesn’t feel like such a big risk when the crypto can actually be applied to non-cannabis agricultural business and that’s exactly what HempCoin strives to offer. Recreational marijuana transactions are not out of the question but HempCoin is much more interested in cracking the supply chain by creating a link between farms and dispensaries and finding applications from seeds to farming equipment. Introduction: 2014 Max Token Number: ? Already Distributed: 230.5 million Market Cap: $39.2 million Price at time of writing: $0.17
Though not doing quite as well as was initially anticipated, CannabisCoin may still be worth a watch. This cryptocurrency uses a Proof-of-Work (PoW) system as opposed to PoS. The initial design of CannabisCoin was meant to make medical cannabis dispensary business run more smoothly, yet this transformed into a more recreational-friendly mission. It’s still early days in California’s legalization, which was predicted to give a boost (but really hasn’t) to this peer-to-peer open source cryptocurrency. Introduction: 2014 Max Token Number: 91.9 million Already Distributed: 77.2 million Market cap: $6.3 million Price at time of writing: $0.08
CannaCoin (not to be confused with CannabisCoin) quickly jumped into PoS after its 2014 introduction. This cryptocurrency rapidly adapted to using blockchain technology which is arguably one of the most attractive features of cryptocurrency for those investing in marijuana business. There’s a pretty wide umbrella of cryptocurrency applications in CannaCoin’s design including “cannabis production, seed production, extract production, glass blowing facilities, vape and dab station manufacturing, crypto development, and more.” Introduction: 2014 Max Token Number: ? Already Distributed: 4.7 million Market cap: $326.2K Price at time of writing: $0.07
Paragon, sometimes referred to as ParagonCoin, is the new kid on the block, making its debut nearly 4 years after PotCoin. There’s a lot of hype around Paragon but this may be more glitter than substance. High profile promotion from rap artist The Game and a charismatic founder in entrepreneur and former Miss Iowa Jessica Versteeg hasn’t fully distracted from the fact that Paragon is not part of a blockchain network, one of the most important safeguards of cryptocurrency. Still, if you’re more interested in investing in marijuana than cryptocurrency, Paragon could be a fun gamble. It’s still early days so it’s a bit tough to tell what will be left when the initial flash fades. Introduction: 2017 Max Token Number: 164.9 million Already Distributed: 64.9 million Market cap: $16.2 million Price at time of writing: $0.25 Anyone investing in marijuana through cryptocurrency should keep in mind that, just like many investments, it’s a risky proposition. Just a few weeks ago, BitCoin was rapidly rising and this week it’s seeing significant drops. It could continue to plummet or it could surge by lunch time. The world of cryptocurrency can be hard to predict but it almost always moves rapidly. Using cryptocurrency as a cannabis investment can add even further risk but, as is the case with investing, it could just as easily bring great rewards.