Paying for Pot with Digital Currency.

Author:Thomas, Brittany
Position:ECONOMICS
 
FREE EXCERPT

There is an old saying that "cash is king" but, when it comes to forming a legitimate business or industry in the U.S., digital currency--which has dethroned cold, hard cash--is the new ruler. Those in the cannabis industry, which operates mainly in cash, know this all too well, as their industry is having trouble legitimizing itself, raising money laundering and monitoring fears from the U.S. government. Banks, which are federally regulated, are hesitant to work with cannabis companies because marijuana still is illegal under Federal law, and that is why it is forced to be a cash-only business.

However, Steve Janjic, CEO of Amercanex, Denver, Colo., an electronic cannabis marketplace, is changing that through an electronic wallet known as ACE Pay.

"We had to build a real payment system for [the industry] to survive. Without a regulatory system, we would never get the buy-in of the Federal government, which now has everything it needs to regulate the industry, collect taxes, etc."

According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, nearly 20% of Americans do not have access to electronic banking, a bank card, or a credit card. Because of this, they deal in cash.

ACE Pay provides a bank account for those who utilize the system, forcing money to change hands electronically, much like PayPal.

Janjic explains that those on the system can obtain a physical card if they desire, and that ACE Pay is fully automated so banks do not have to add extra staff. Thanks to a proprietary algorithm, those...

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