Being a successful graduate of Belarusian State Economic University (BSEU), Maria has acquired competencies in economic and social studies. Given Maria’s previous research working experience, and desire to explore what's really shaping the future, the main research focus is placed on FinTech and Blockchain Technology.
In the uncharted waters of legal cannabis, startup Budbo is using blockchain technology in its intention to make the industry safer.
What do Colorado, Belgium, Portugal, and The Netherlands have in common? They are all places where an entirely new worldwide industry is growing thanks to the decriminalisation or legalization of a product already used by 200 million people worldwide: cannabis.
The global market is currently worth $31 billion, so you would be excused for assuming this was already big business with developed supply chains. However, this is not the case and in most countries the market is only beginning to take shape.
This new industry is proving to be a fruitful ground for blockchain technology. Unlike other recreational substances like alcohol, the cannabis industry is being built from the ground up, which means that blockchain adoption in the space is ready to take off. This also means that the lack of major incumbents will make the space more entrepreneurial and open.
A new blockchain project based in California called Budbo hopes to capitalize on these two characteristics of the cannabis market. It stands to tap into the billions of dollars that will be spent on marijuana in the next year and beyond by positioning itself as the “Tinder for Weed.” This solution will leverage blockchain technology to address some of the emerging challenges in this new industry.
Safe, Legal, User-Friendly
Budbo’s aim is to alleviate some problems that exist currently for users and businesses in the space. The company describes the issues as follows:
“We are operating in a space which is still largely shrouded in black market practices… The budding legalised marijuana industry is marred by fragmentation and marginalisation, and is in dire need of systematic organisation and transparency of operations. This is where blockchain comes in.”
Much like what is happening in the conventional supply chain industry, Budbo is using the blockchain to bring a level of transparency to cannabis that was impossible a few years ago. Budbo v2.0 is expected to be able to track and trace every transaction and every shipment. For a market that was shrouded in illegality up until recently, this is a warp speed level of change, which could very well lead to big changes in society.
A Decentralized Ecosystem
If Budbo can get high adoption for their blockchain solution, the pieces will be in place for an entirely community-driven and decentralized ecosystem where growers and users are linked easily and securely, with regulators given unprecedented oversight of the entire industry. Describing their aim, the company states:
“Budbo aims to streamline the processes of the marijuana industry, and induce transparency in this ecosystem with the help of Blockchain. We also aim to build a data backbone for the cannabis industry, which will help the stakeholders of the industry, government authorities, researchers, and other interested parties gain useful insights concerning the industry.”
Aside from Budbo v2.0, the other major component of their vision is the already running “Tinder for Weed” feature on Budbo’s public facing mobile app. This allows users to swipe left or right on a massive variety of cannabis products (left for “pass,” right for “puff”). The app then provides a list of nearby dispensaries carrying their preferred (or “puffed”) products.
It’s interesting that in this new market, companies like Budbo are opting to be “Blockchain native,” building their business model with blockchain technology as a foundational component. In such a skyrocketing market, it’s clear decentralized technology such as this represents the future of the budding cannabis industry.
The Budbo token sale (phase 3) is currently running with 30,000,000 tokens offered at the price of $0.30 per one. The ICO campaign will end with phase 5 on 5 March, 2018 or when the token tier ( 40,000,000 tokens, $0.35 per token) sells out.