HempWire Editorial Coverage: The cryptocurrency known as bitcoin has seen an incredible boom since the start of 2017, and its bullishness has continued during the month of October, with the cryptocurrency once again breaking its own trading record and surpassing $6,000 on all major cryptocurrency exchanges on October 20. Some experts believe the value of bitcoin will spike much higher than this and that it has only just begun its climb in value. Investors have glommed onto bitcoin’s rising star en masse this year, and many companies have been pursuing means of profitably utilizing this most popular of the cryptocurrencies. One standout company is employing bitcoin to serve the needs of another booming market: legalized marijuana. SinglePoint, Inc. (SING) (SING Profile) is very close to launching its own bitcoin exchange aimed at solving the current problems of unbankability for cannabis businesses in the United States. The promise of bitcoin’s success as a means of giving cannabis companies non-cash payment options and other financial amenities is clear, and bitcoin’s increasing mainstream adaptation is evidenced in the activities of players like Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC), Bitcoin Services, Inc. (BTSC), Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN) and Overstock.com, Inc. (OSTK).
Because the availability of bitcoin has a limit (its mining capability will someday cap off at 21 million coins, and the number of bitcoins mined since the cryptocurrency’s inception currently sits at around 16.5 million), it is considered a scarce asset, and, due to its scarcity, many believe its value potential will prove to be unlimited and its price will continue to climb—even after no more bitcoins can be mined. Companies currently engaged in bitcoin-related enterprises are banking on this limitless value potential and for bitcoin to continue shining as a red-hot commodity.
SinglePoint, Inc. (SING) is one company that has found promising applications for bitcoin as a means to help solve banking issues within the U.S. cannabis market—another investment space that is currently blossoming with no end to its growth in sight. Despite this, companies in the cannabis industry are currently blocked from accessing traditional banking services in the U.S. due to the Controlled Substances Act, which categorizes marijuana as a schedule I controlled substance. Even in states where cannabis has been legalized, marijuana enterprises are plagued by a lack of banking options, which largely forces them to conduct cash transactions. SinglePoint’s cannabis cryptocurrency solution, which is now mere weeks away from launching in beta form, could help effectively resolve this.
The new bitcoin exchange being developed by SinglePoint will enable cannabis businesses to deploy a user-friendly method of accepting credit and debit card payments without the need for cooperation from banks or the FDIC. The company is developing an in-house solution that will allow cannabis consumers to obtain bitcoin at any point of sale and to instantly make bitcoin-powered purchases using debit and credit cards. SinglePoint is an early-mover in bringing such technology to the U.S., and its bitcoin application will be fully KYC-AML compliant. Users can create an account online or sign up in seconds at the point of sale.
SinglePoint’s solution will further aid cannabis dispensaries by enabling them to upload inventory-related information, like product descriptions and photos, and digitally track their inventory. When a customer buys a product, it will be automatically deducted from the dispensary’s inventory listings.
SinglePoint’s innovative new payment exchange will undoubtedly be a boon for the cannabis market, but its applicability does not end there. The usefulness of this product could—and likely will—extend far beyond the marijuana market, making instant, card-based bitcoin-powered purchases possible for a variety of businesses, both in high-risk and low-risk markets.
SinglePoint has found great success through an aggressive, acquisition-based growth strategy, and investors have been sitting up and taking notice. In early January 2017, SinglePoint’s price per share was at $0.01; as of October 27, 2017, that price had risen to $0.0599. The launch of the company’s bitcoin payments solution will serve as yet another mark of SinglePoint’s sustained growth.
An updated investor kit detailing SinglePoint’s products, leadership team and investor highlights offers key insights into the company’s goals.
Further testament to the increasing power and adoption of bitcoin is evidenced in the movement of entities like Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC), which became the first publicly quoted bitcoin investment vehicle and which Wall Street analyst Tom Lee recently called “the only game in town” for U.S.-based investors who want to gain exposure to bitcoin (http://cnw.fm/c1WB4). Lee further predicts that Bitcoin Investment Trust could rise by 250 percent or more by 2022 if bitcoin’s value reaches the $25,000 target he has set for it to reach by that year. Bitcoin Investment Trust empowers investors to gain exposure to bitcoin’s price gains through a traditional investment vehicle, eradicating the necessity of buying, storing and safeguarding bitcoin. Bitcoin Investment Trust is an open-ended grantor trust sponsored by Grayscale Investments that is U.S.-based and invested exclusively in bitcoin. It was named one of OTC Market Group’s “OTCQX Best 50” for 2017.
Another cryptocurrency player that is achieving growth similar to SinglePoint’s is Bitcoin Services, Inc. (BTSC). Like SinglePoint, BTSC was at $0.01 per share early on in 2017, but it had reached $0.0605 as of October 27. BTSC previously announced its own plans to create a proprietary blockchain software, intending to highlight online marketplace, file storage and identity management applications relative to cryptocurrency. During Q1 of 2017, BTSC began mining Dash, its own cryptocurrency. The company also created a new subsidiary this year, Crypto Capital Corp., for the purpose of developing a cryptocurrency wallet that would enable users to securely store multiple digital currencies in one wallet. At present, BTSC is focused on both mining bitcoin and developing its blockchain software.
The acceptance of bitcoin by e-commerce giants like Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN) and Overstock.com, Inc. (OSTK) is further evidence of the cryptocurrency’s growing mainstream adoption. Currently, Amazon does not directly accept bitcoin, instead allowing shoppers to use it in a roundabout way through the Purse.io app. However, suppositions are flying that this could change very soon due to Amazon’s rumored intention to begin supporting bitcoin as a payment method (http://cnw.fm/lp2U0). Overstock.com does currently directly accept bitcoin and has done so since January 2014.
There is no doubt that bitcoin currently represents big game for investors, and optimistic forecasts see no ceiling for this cryptocurrency’s growth. For enterprising companies seeking profitable means of utilizing bitcoin, the future seems to be paved with virtual gold.
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