The big bitch on Bitcoin from most commentators, myself included, is that the cryptocurrency isn’t really a currency if people aren’t using it to buy stuff.
I’m not talking about folks who might hit one of the 16 Bitcoin-enabled ATMs in Greater Vancouver, or the occasional deep web cocaine sale or human trafficking purchase. I’m talking about tapping your Bitcoin card at Uncle Fatih’s for a drunken pizza slice at 2AM. I’m talking paying the babysitter with it or buying a Miata with it.
That, frankly, doesn’t happen in anyway other than ironically right now, which makes the whole cryptocurrency deal mostly a bout of Tulip Mania.
But it won’t always be that way. In fact, every bank worth its salt right now is actively working to figure out how to use the blockchain technology that makes crypto work, and adopt it into the real world of bricks and mortar finance.
Between where we are now (the Oregon Trail stage) and where we’ll be then (the full co-opting of tech stage), there’s going to be a lot of technology shifts, a lot of opportunity, and a lot of small players proving out the model in interesting ways.
Lottogopher (LOTO.C) is a company regular readers will have already heard of, being as they’ve done great selling California lottery tickets to folks online. They’ve got plans for new states on the way and big partners overseas with many millions in the bank, so it’s refreshing to see that they’re running headlong into the blockchain scene with a new partnership with a company called Netcents (NC.C), which provides an online ecommerce platform that connects cash to digital cash and back again.
Back on July 31, which was literally days before the markets started getting interested in blockchain, LOTO said:
“NetCents has a superior product compared to many of the traditional payment processing options out there. Integrating their platform, which meets our stringent security standards, is a big step forward for our customer ordering processing capabilities. We are thrilled to be working with them,” commented James Morel, President and CEO of LottoGopher. “This product enables us to stay up-to-date with the latest blockchain technology for payment solutions.”
In essence, Lottogopher will use Netcents to accept cash, credit cards, and cryptocurrency, allowing folks to move freely between those platforms as needed, and radically reducing chargebacks by using the chain to check the legitimacy of the payer.
Over the last week, we’ve written about blockchain tech a lot, from Frank Giustra’s HIVE Blockchain (LTA.H), which is partnered with the largest Ethereum miner in the world, to Acana Capital’s (ACM.C) Blockchain Intelligence Group acquisition which looks to help law enforcement use the chain to track bad guys, to Calyx Bio-Ventures (CYX.V) expanding their alpha stage weed sector marketplace to adopt blockchain tech and helps growers and dispensaries align, it’s been an action-packed ten days.
I don’t expect this to change. Update your Google Alerts. We’re moving into a genuine sector run.
— Chris Parry
FULL DISCLOSURE: Calyx is an Equity.Guru marketing client. The author owns stock in HIVE and Lottogopher.
NB: Pursuant to a resolution passed by the directors dated Nov. 27, 2017, Calyx Bio-Ventures Inc. changed its name to Calyx Ventures Inc. effective as at Feb. 5, 2018. The ticker symbol CYX is unchanged.