Is the Cryptocurrency PotCoin Living up to its Hype?

Since early 2014, the arrival of the digital currency for the legal cannabis market has made headlines. Allowing consumers to buy or sell marijuana, PotCoin anonymously can do this. However, the news and headlines dried up after a few months when new players such as PotWallet, a PayPal-esque service created to make using PotCoin more practical, took over.

The hype was renewed after the vaporware debut of PotCoin. PotCoin’s administrators are overhauling the currency with the new investor funding. “There was a lack of IT manpower,” said David Amitrano, a pseudonym for the chief technology officer of the mysterious Montreal company behind these ventures. PotCoin is open-source, so improvements can come from the company’s administers or via public submissions.

Among the current developments in the company is their mobile app in the works for Android, iPhone, and Windows. Both PotCoin and PotWallet can be used without fees. Consumers pay nothing. PotCoin claims transactions within just 40 seconds, which is faster compared to BitCoin’s 10-minute slog. Fast transactions are appealing and convenient for a customer-merchant payment service.

“There’s all these advantages for the cannabis industry, because they get hit with a lot of fraud” and get stuck with chargeback, in which dispensaries owe credit card companies for fraudulent charges, Amitrano said. While most dispensaries still can’t accept major credit cards, apparently that’s a credit card company’s way of thanking dispensaries for their business. If dispensaries don’t like it, they can ditch the plastic—or the heaps of cash—for PotCoin, he said. “That’s the beauty of it.”

Cryptocurrency enthusiasts may take interest in another huge modification made to PotCoin: It’s no longer minable. It now runs on a proof-of-stake system whereby users earn 5 percent to 7 percent interest on their currency. To cut out a lot of geek-speak, mining is the process that creates new units of some cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, but is frowned upon by many because it puts a strain on computer hardware.

PotCoin’s description on its Facebook page says it’s “aspiring to become the standard form of payment for the legalized cannabis industry.” For now, put the emphasis on “aspiring.”

However, on March 2017, the digital currency platform crashed after it sponsored sponsored Dennis Rodman's trip to North Korea. PotCoin dropped 23% on Wednesday, just a day after it soared 97% following the publicity it received from sponsoring Rodman's trip.

The currency is valued at just over 13 US cents.

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