How Blockchain Could Solve Problems in the Marijuana Industry

Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum represent an exciting but volatile investment, but their foundation — blockchain — is already being embraced by established corporations as a solution for many issues facing the emerging legal cannabis industry.


By Greg Zeman |

Most conversations about the cryptography software of blockchain are focused on the explosive unpredictability of the digital currencies it backs.

But where the world of Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrency is awash with speculation and excitement, there’s a rising tide of sober interest in the numerous applications of blockchain technology, which represents a transparent, practically incorruptible “distributed ledger.” This means that all changes happen in real time where all parties can see them, making it truly transparent.

Venture advisor and entrepreneur William Mougayar describes blockchain as collaborating on Google Docs, when you previously were working from a traditional word document.

From Block Geeks: 

“That’s how databases work today. Two owners can’t be messing with the same record at once. That’s how banks maintain money balances and transfers; they briefly lock access (or decrease the balance) while they make a transfer, then update the other side, then re-open access (or update again),” Mougayar said. “With Google Docs (or Google Sheets), both parties have access to the same document at the same time, and the single version of that document is always visible to both of them. It is like a shared ledger, but it is a shared document. The distributed part comes into play when sharing involves a number of people.”

One big indicator of the perceived future utility of this technology is the size and type of companies taking bets on it — namely, big, stable companies. For example, Walmart is even experimenting with using blockchain to track livestock movement in China. Why? Because in the event of a safety recall, quickly tracing the source of contaminated meat can mean the difference between life and death.

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Bitcoin cryptocurrency Ethereum cannabis industry marijuana finances