A Dutch Blockchain Startup is Launching a Revolutionary Cannabis Platform
AMSTERDAM: With the current exponential growth of both the global cannabis industry and blockchain technology, there is a potential partnership that stands to benefit both.
Most banks and financial service providers still refuse to process cannabis transactions due to the large degree of regulatory uncertainty in the industry. Leading experts and entrepreneurs from both the financial and cannabis industries view this as a huge opportunity to build a global digital payment solution for cannabis retailers that can circumvent traditional financial institutions.
"Keeping up with constantly changing cannabis laws is very difficult. So banks, credit card companies, and online payment providers either refuse to get involved in cannabis, or they charge excessively high transaction fees," according to Jan Scheele, CEO of BitCanna. "That puts companies who are selling cannabis products legally in a tricky situation — they have to figure out how to take their businesses cashless and sell online without breaking any laws. That's where BitCanna will help."
BitCanna is a global blockchain technology company that helps cannabis companies to go cashless securely, legally, and cost-effectively. The company claims to be able to process transactions using its BitCanna token almost instantaneously and for a fee of just a few cents. It will also let vendors manage their supply chains and record all customer identification data. It is an incremental technological breakthrough for the entire global industry.
"It doesn't matter if it's a $10 or $100 transaction. Our customers will pay a small flat fee," says Scheele. "We're introducing a payment system that will make it cost-effective and safe for all cannabis companies to accept digital payments — whether they're selling online or in-store."
It's not just online retailers who can benefit from blockchain technology. Some brick and mortar cannabis retailers spend as much as 10-15% of their revenues on security and staff to upkeep a cash-only business. Providing these companies with payment processing technology can help them reduce security risks while complying with regulations.
Many industry experts believe that despite the growth we've seen over the past few years, the cannabis market is only just beginning to take shape. In the United States alone, the cannabis market is forecast to double from $22B in 2017 to $44B in 2020. And the global market is expected to reach $140B by 2027, according to European investment bank Bryan, Garnier & Co.
BitCanna is well-placed to benefit from this growing industry. The company will have direct integration with some of the largest online cannabis shops when it launches in Q3 2019. It will run pilots at brick and mortar locations in the cannabis capitals Amsterdam and Barcelona. BitCanna alone has already partnered with dozens of cannabis companies to create the BitCanna Alliance. Alliance members are active in 27 countries and attract a combined 10 million unique website visitors a month so far.
The company has ambitious plans to become the global digital payment solution for the cannabis industry. It will launch in Europe first and then quickly expand to the rest of the world.