Benjamin Bey of Soul D’licious Seasonings and co-host Stephanie Magurno of THC Production, LLC interview Michael Wagner, CEO of Multichain Ventures. Multichain Ventures is a blockchain and cryptocurrency payment system that was recently given the go-ahead to develop a digital payment system for the State of Nevada.
Hash It Out – Michael Wagner
Today we’re hashing it out with Michael Wagner of Multichain Ventures and ToKES Platform. Michael is here to talk with us about his company’s recent contract with the State of Nevada to develop a pilot program for a cannabis-exclusive cryptocurrency payment system. Additionally, he discusses blockchain technology and how it can help with supply chain management with Nevada’s “seed-to-sale” policy.
Michael Wagner got his feet wet in the cryptocurrency and blockchain world back in 2013. In 2015, Michael gave up a formal career in investment securities analysis to dedicate himself fully to blockchain technology. In 2016, he launched ToKES Platform which later became Multicain Ventures.
What is Cryptocurrency
According to Michael Wagner, before we get into cryptocurrency, it’s important to understand the concept of blockchain technology. In essence, blockchain is a distributed and decentralized ledger of activity. In regards to crypto, it provides a financial ecosystem that is transparent and trustless. Therefore, cryptocurrency is a digital form of money that is open to everyone around the world.
The advantage of using blockchain is that there is no centralized authority that has control over the supply or distribution of money. As a result, this decentralization allows for greater freedom. In regards to the cannabis space, this is especially valuable for the Nevada legalized cannabis industry. As many of you know, because cannabis is still federally illegal, the entire industry is forced to operate on a cash-only model. No credit cards, no debit cards, no checks, no bank accounts. It’s a huge pain! Additionally, it’s dangerous.
A payment processing system like ToKES Platform allows various decentralized node operators to avoid the red tape of the Federal rules on banking and cannabis. As a result, a payment processing system like the one being developed by Multichain Ventures could actually create an internal, traceable, transparent way to meet state regulations while allowing non-cash payment processing throughout the industry.
Contract with the State of Nevada
On March 25, 2019, the State of Nevada proposed AB466 – a bill requesting the “creation of a pilot program to facilitate certain financial transactions relating to marijuana.” Outlined details of the bill can be found here. Nevada’s state treasurer has been quite progressive in the efforts to fix the issues plaguing the Nevada legal cannabis industry and that’s why this proposal was put into place.
From a consumer standpoint, Michael Wagner says not much would change at first. Consumers would spend cash at the dispensaries just as they always have. However, when cash is ready to change hands in the industry, this is where Multichain Ventures comes into play. Working in tandem with cash transportation services, money will flow into a Federally-insured bank account.
After funds are reconciled, a digital token backed by those funds will be minted. Then, that token is returned to the depositing organization. At that point, that token can be shared between dispensaries, grow facilities, transportation services, and product producers like OMG THC and Experience Premium Cannabis as an internal currency and form of payment. Furthermore, there is the potential to pass those tokens to outside the market to pay for payroll, rent, utilities, and even pay Nevada State taxes.
The program should begin its beta rollout in the next few months across the State of Nevada. Michael Wagner knows it will take time to implement and educate the community, but he’s confident this will be a groundbreaking addition to the Nevada cannabis industry.
Learn More About Michael Wagner
If you’d like to learn more about Michael Wagner, you can visit his LinkedIn page and follow him on Twitter. You can also find out about his other project Star Atlas. If you’d like to learn more about ToKES and Multichain Ventures, you can visit their official website. Finally, become a part of their Telegram group to be a part of daily activities.
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Each podcast episode of Soul D’licious Infused includes different topics on the Nevada cannabis industry, as well as special guests. We interview different people from across the industry and discuss all kinds of topics. These include the pros and cons of different extracts, cannabis trends, local market info, and more. Additionally, we talk about cannabis science topics and cannabis studies. Finally, we feature the stories behind the people who work in the cannabis industry.
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