We’ve reported previously on how Bitcoin was having a positive impact on the cannabis industry, as growers were registering their exclusive strains on the Bitcoin block chain with the idea that doing so could help protect the intellectual property rights of breeders and entrepreneurs. A Seattle Bitcoin merchant is now progressing the local cannabis forward from cash-only customer payments by using the digital currency.
POSaBIT is a financial technology company that creates an easy way for consumers to acquire Bitcoin at the point of sale. They can then use the digital currency to make purchases at that store through the POSaBIT system, or make purchases anywhere that accepts Bitcoin as a form of payment. POSaBIT is currently installed at six outlets in the Washington State capital, and more should follow suit.
“I saw an industry that was in dire need of a credit solution,” CEO and co-founder Ryan Hamlin, an ex-Microsoft executive, told local news resource Seattle Weekly. “I said, ‘Software has got to be able to solve this problem.’”
Bitcoin is a decentralized digital currency, also known as a crypto currency, that can be shared anonymously and transactions used to be free of charge. Now, some Bitcoin exchanges are costing users up to $5 per transaction, which is a large uptick from what had been the norm for several years. There has been some recent controversy and debate on how Bitcoin should be handled, distributed, regulated and the like. Enthusiasts are referring to the controversy as the Bitcoin fork. While POSaBIT isn’t exactly coming onto the scene at a great time when it comes to the long-term stability of Bitcoin, at least for the time being this gives customers a much needed second option when purchasing cannabis merchandise.
The service monetizes its features by charging a $2 flat fee per transaction, with an upper purchase cap of $150. The company says this is designed “to limit any exposure to Bitcoin abuse.”
POSaBIT in Washington state is following in the footsteps of Oregon, which gained a sanctioned Bitcoin-based cannabis purchasing solution from First Bitcoin Capital last October.