One of the newest cryptocurrencies to launch is Paragon Coin, which is an innovative approach to solving the many problems inherent in obtaining medical cannabis in the 29 states where it is legal in the US.
The coin is being launched by a former Iowa beauty queen, Jessica VerSteeg and her tech millionaire husband Egor Lavrov, with backing from rapper The Game.
In essence, what they are trying to do with the coin is provide a transparent and trustworthy supply chain for cannabis, involving everyone from doctors to patients and suppliers.
The problem is that in America, even in states where cannabis taken for medical purposes is legal, under federal law it is not.
This means there are significant difficulties in regulating the industry properly and has led to problems with verifying how pure the cannabis being distributed is in the same way that regulators would normally test a drug or other medical treatment. On the other side of things, there are difficulties with verifying patient identities properly, as well as other data security issues.
Piles of Cash
In addition, because of the federal laws, it is also illegal to deposit the proceeds of cannabis sales in the bank or to buy it using a bank transfer. So the whole industry therefore operates in cash. That means everyone involved in the industry must be paid in cash – the cannabis companies, doctors, lawyers, real estate agents, even delivery drivers. As you can imagine, this creates quite a logistical nightmare, particularly at the high end where large quantities of cash are involved.
So Paragon has been proposed as a solution to the many problems involved in the nascent cannabis industry.
Here is CEO Jessica VerSteeg explaining more about Paragon and what they intend to do:
What they are proposing in the first instance is to build a reliable blockchain to ensure the smooth and transparent operation of the supply chain.
Doctor to Patient
This would mean you could start by downloading a wallet where you would buy your Paragon Coin, then you could schedule a doctor’s appointment, have your identity and medical situation verified, obtain a valid prescription from the doctor who would also sign your Medical Marijuana card (MMJ), then have the dispensary verify that information and provide you with your valid medicine.
This would all happen on an immutable ledger with anonymous patient identification and all product lifestyle events stored forever. It would also allow for the whole supply chain to be verified, including the lab test analysis (THC/THC-A/CBD levels etc).
Participants in the process would have different access permissions dependent on their status. You would use Paragon Coin to pay for all cannabis services apart from buying the cannabis itself, which is still illegal at this point in time.
At the same time as doing all this, Paragon will set up a chain of high-tech, fully equipped ParagonCoin Centers in all 29 States where cannabis is legal, which will be hubs for scientists, journalists, investors, marketers, doctors, developers, fintech specialists, entrepreneurs, startups and lawyers in the cannabis space.
These will be spaces where people can exchange ideas and information, hold conferences and events, as well as socialise in a cafe-style environment.
So all in all it is quite a comprehensive vision. It also has backing from some major industry players such as IOTA and ICO Promo, as well as Edway Group co-founder Sergei Sergienko, rapper The Game and Troy Von Otnott, CEO of Massive Technologies.
Enormous Potential Market
As co-founder Lavrov has said “If we move just 1% of the industry’s cash into PRG, you can imagine the value. It’s a $100 billion industry,” so the potential is enormous.
Certainly some think that the business case is sound. Dylan Dewdney, Co-founder and Principal at Harbour, a Canadian blockchain governance protocol company says that Paragon’s core business proposition is also sound. “Having supply chain verification is definitely the way to go.”
If you are thinking of investing, please note that cryptocurrency investments are high risk and largely unregulated, so all your capital is at risk.
The Pre-Sale of Paragon Coin (PRG) of 70 million coins was completely sold out, indicating strong support for the idea.
The Crowdsale is now on and there is a hardcap of 30 million coins that will be sold. Over 60,000 people have participated so far.