Most cities have office centers where entrepreneurs can make use of free internet and collaborate with startups. This is the model ParagonCoin hopes to emulate for marijuana.
ParagonCoin is a hub for connecting disparate parts of the cannabis industry through blockchain technology. Their goal is to bring industries from “marginalized to mainstream” while advocating for full legalization. It happens in 3 parts: Work spaces for entrepreneurs, social networks for collaboration and a cryptocurrency backed by Ethereum for secure transactions.
3 Part Strategy
The first part of the company is the work spaces they hope to set up in cities with light cannabis laws, or in countries that have legalized altogether (like the Netherlands). Thought of as incubators, these spaces will cater to those involved in every aspect of the business from growing to distributing and processing to buying. The central goal being reducing some of the barriers that patients, doctors and labs all face. Also, helping others with new ideas (banking, technology) to set off on their own and start complimentary businesses.
Second, those without a brick and mortar building within their community get to be a part of ParagonOnline. It works like a social network for people involved in the marijuana business. Members of the community are rewarded with tokens when their ideas are adopted by the collective (upvoted). In this way funding is awarded and everyone benefits. Marijuana is still illegal on a federal level in the US and restricted in other countries. Although laws are loosening everywhere, there are no guarantees that business will thrive. The social network aspect allows for a type of community in the absence of a physical hub for startups.
Third, the purpose of any cryptocurrency is to solve the banking and payments issue. ParagaonCoin (PRG) are bought and sold like other currencies and can be exchanged for dollars at certain exchanges. Owners with more tokens have more say in the direction of the company. Smart contracts are carried out on the Ethereum blockchain. Their ICO was for 100,000,000 tokens at $1 per token. It is possible for anyone to open coin account using Ethereum wallet.
An entrepreneur with a growing operation could benefit from connecting to the online community. He could place orders with seed sellers in other states, use the tracking software to follow his purchased goods and ensure his customers are verified. He could also stay up to date on legislation impacting his business by communicating with like minded organizations. He is able to collect money and pay using the tokens through the blockchain supported interface. The potential to track plants from seed to sale is within reach in this connected community of marijuana businesses.
A second type of B2C adopter could be a owner of a dispensary in a state (like Oklahoma) where medical marijuana is legal but recreational is not. The smart contracts allow patients to buy products from the dispensary, verify digital signatures and pay with cash. The cash is a necessary requirement until federal laws change allowing medical cannabis dealers to register.
Another type could be a customer who lives a long way from a dispensary, but has a doctor’s prescription for cannabis based medicine. This person could have the medicine delivered instead of picking it up from a seller. This depends on the laws of the person’s state/country as well though. A patient with access to a cooperating doctor ( in the Paragon Online system) could take care of payment and ID verification remotely.
Paragon Coin ICO Legal Troubles
The California lawsuit claimed that Paragon failed to register their ICO with the Securities and Exchange Commission. If it’s found to be a security, founders and promoters, including Terrell Taylor a.k.a. “The Game” will have to endure some serious financial ramifications. The Paragon project successfully raised over USD 70M during their 2017 ICO.
A lot of the success from the Cannabis industry hangs on legalization around the world. Success has come in fits and starts but without collaboration and seamless execution among supply chains, it faces continued setbacks. Companies with smart contract options will fair best because blockchain takes a lot of guesswork out of payment verification.
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