- Christopher Smith, Editor-in-Chief
"Our Goal is to Humanize Digital Currency" the Ken Ramirez Interview
One cannot be successful in the cannabis industry without a thirst for knowledge.
Whether they’re drinking up next generation thinking on fertigation or organic soil enhancements, supply chain management, co-branding, or point of sale software, those in the know have added “blockchain technology” to that long list.
Ken Ramirez says you can call it “digital currency”.
Ken is a co-founder of Alt Thirty Six, a payments platform that uses digital currency, or digital cash, to facilitate a new way to pay while remaining in compliance with regulations.
Got your drinking straws ready?
You know the problem: despite the fact that voters in 30 states have approved cannabis and industrious souls have built a $20 billion+ industry, it remains federally illegal. This means that banks, whose deposits are federally insured, can’t touch cannabis cash without risk. The end result is that the federal government is forcing $20 billion within the cannabis industry to stay in mattresses, pockets and purses, safes and vaults, and in vehicles on the way to pay cannabis taxes.
One of the most difficult aspects of the cannabis industry. “I’m really glad to get the chance to speak with you today because my main job right now is to humanize digital currency.”
Ken knows more than most about finance and the banking industry – the working title for his doctoral dissertation is “Does Blockchain Scalability Predict Consumer Adoption of a Decentralized Currency?” Its primary target is what’s known as the Interchange Fee – a non-negotiable 1% to 3% fee on every transaction. “The Interchange Fee costs companies and citizens $30 Billion a year.” More on that later.
“Ok, let’s talk terminology: We’re talking about blockchain technology. You’ve heard about “Bitcoin”, right? It’s made a lot of news over the past few years. Bitcoin was a great first attempt at using blockchain, but it’s just one kindof cryptocurrency.”
So cryptocurrency uses blockchain technology?
“Yes, but the term “cryptocurrency” (he’s using finger quotes) is a frightening word, right? We just call it “digital currency” or “digital cash”. And here’s why it’s needed… [Besides the freakin’ $20 billion in extra cash problem...]
“At a bank, all transactions go through the bank server. This is problematic for two reasons: it takes time, and the bank charges a fee each time this happens. Banks make about $30 billion per year on this fee alone.” That’s Billion with a B.
“Blockchain is a distributed-ledger technology. About four thousand servers, which are distributed around the world, validating all transactions. Each transaction is assigned a hash key, which is the most encrypted form of information you can pass along.”
How secure is a digital cash transaction? “The amount of money and power it would take to break it would not be worth an attempt.”
In theory, “Blockchain allows people around the world to be their own bank and not depend on specific third party intermediaries.” And in practice: “Using blockchain technology is less expensive than any bank, and with our platform, we auto-convert the funds to U.S. digital cash that can be used immediately.”
So about Bitcoin…? “Alt Thirty Six uses the DASH Network” [the nomenclature of its currency is “DASH COINS” as opposed to BitCoins].
[DASH has funded Alt Thirty Six $2M to build out its platform.]
And remember the interchange fee? GONE. “Gone. With DASH, the interchange fee does not exist - - We recognize that if we want to be disruptive, we need enable a new way to pay and eliminate the interchange fee entirely.”
About Alt Thirty Six Alt Thirty Six is a fully-integrated, blockchain payments platform using Dash digital currency that is specifically designed for the cannabis industry, making payments faster, more secure and less expensive on a global scale. The platform solves all the problems associated with Bitcoin, traditional payments and centralized banking solutions. For more information, visit www.altthirtysix.com.