A primer on investments backed by Dennis Rodman’s fly diplomacy skills
You were probably as dumbfounded and hilarity struck as we were at the sight of Dennis Rodman on the tube in Singapore this week. Shilling for his personal interests among world leaders who were also pushing for their own selfish gains, the former Detroit Pistons hothead-turned-joker ambassador sparked an unexpected conversation—especially considering that he was speaking from a part of the world where smoking pot can get you executed—about… cannabis and cryptocurrency?! Simply by rocking a T-shirt on TV propping the peer-to-peer payment PotCoin.
Meanwhile, our email boxes at the Dig are inundated with news and releases about these new currencies and services. It’s a green rush and a gold rush at the same time, and while we’re obviously skeptical of anything that sounds as monumentally enticing as that righteous combination, we will still be covering the trend. We’ll have some interviews with CEOs and players in this realm in the coming weeks, but for now we’ve scanned the marketplace of several dozen canna-coins and selected a couple for reasons ranging from their recent popularity to name appeal, to see what kind of competition Rodman’s team is facing.
- The app-based GreenMed (GRMD, Market Cap: $422,498) markets itself as “the world’s first ERC-20 Ethereum token backed application enabling customers to purchase Legal Marijuana using their Debit or Credit Cards.” Judging by their recent social media activity, this currency is actually backed, at least in part, by some of the sweetest indica-dominant Girl Scout Cookies imaginable.
- Paragon (PRG, Market Cap: $6,357,976), a majorly hyped operation of late, “seeks to pull the cannabis community from marginalized to mainstream by building blockchain into every step of the cannabis industry and by working toward full legalization.” Not unlike a lot of others, but what’s refreshingly unique here is that there’s an actual community—not to mention a brick-and-mortar space in LA, with others on the way—as well as real growers, weed, etc. behind their digital tokens. As opposed to those just claiming they’re a movement or a lifestyle brand.
- Definitely check out düber (DBR), a token that “incentivize[s] and improve[s] information exchange in the cannabis community [between] consumers, retailers, labs, processors and growers.” They’re essentially rebate people, but in a seriously cool way, as users can earn tokens by writing reviews and by simply being return customers. It’s a cannabis incentive program that we hope to see in Mass ASAP.
- There are also bigger, more obscure risks, from the smaller Smoke (SMOKE, Market Cap: $52,526), “an incentivized, distributed social media application for the cannabis community, that rewards users in cryptocurrency for reviewing strains, interacting, creating content and engaging others,” to KushCoin (KUSH, Market Cap: $260,130), which bills itself as “a multinational project seeking to implement blockchain innovation in the nascent and highly inefficient market of vertically integrated medical marijuana supply chains.” Or you can wait until next month and there will probably be even more.
Lastly (for now at least) is the Rodman-affiliated PotCoin, founded in Canada in 2014, which Fortune magazine described as aiming “to give cannabis dispensaries and farmers access to banking services.” According to its own materials, “PotCoins are digital coins you can send via the internet, which allow cannabis enthusiasts to interact, transact, communicate and grow together.” The company has also sponsored Rodman in the past to visit North Korea, and while that marketing effort didn’t result in the extended boost in trading value that executives had likely hoped for, this most recent dispatch of the power forward spurred a noted spike in the wake of the so-called Singapore peace summit. Interesting stuff, sure, but despite the recognition from Team MAGA, it’s probably the wrong pick for conservative investors.
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