Tokes Platform Newsletter, June 2019 — Merchant Gateway Access, Token Certification, and Strategy
Welcome back Tokes enthusiasts! In this month’s edition of the newsletter we discuss big user onboarding news around the Merchant Gateway, a whitelabeling initiative for the Gateway, our recent certification through the BetterTokens program, and strategy.
Merchant Gateway Public Access
One core initiative in progress now for many months is the ability to onboard general users for the Merchant Gateway. Up until this point, access to use our Gateway software has required a “whitelisting,” with our team manually on-boarding and auditing the user. We have always found it necessary to have in place a rigorous KYC/AML policy to remain compliant with all FinCEN money services business requirements. In order to stay compliant and onboard new users en masse, we have partnered with an agent to handle customer on-boarding for users of the Gateway. What this means for interested Merchants (or those just curious about the software), is that we will soon allow access to new Gateway users without any whitelisting required. New users will be able to simply register an account, provide some basic personal documents for KYC verification, and within minutes be registered to use the Gateway. From there, using the Gateway is as simple as adding products, configuring your wallet addresses, and using the checkout screen to create your first invoice.
Concurrently, our team has been developing ecommerce integrations for businesses with existing web storefronts. This includes a simple plug-in that leverages our payments API to allow online customers to select cryptocurrency as their payment option at checkout. As we are aware, many users manage their online storefronts through popular providers like Shopify. Thus, we are developing a standalone Shopify plugin to enable the Gateway’s cryptocurrency processing through existing Shopify accounts!
Expect more details on these developments in Q3 of this year.
Whitelabel Merchant Processing
We realize not all cryptocurrency users understand the needs of the legal cannabis industry — particularly the heavy reliance on cash due to banking restrictions. With insufficient information, many in the crypto space fail to see the utility of cannabis serving projects like ours. While we have given some general lip-service to the fact that the software we produce is industry agnostic and can serve merchants from coffee shops, to apparel vendors, to digital goods suppliers and everything in between, it is readily apparent that a non-cannabis brand identity would aid communicating the industry agnostic support of our software.
For this reason, we are developing a spin-off, non-cannabis brand around the Merchant Gateway (and accompanying products) in order to garner adoption of merchants outside of the cannabis vertical. Tokes (TKS) will still be a default token within all of the software we produce, and subsequent on-boarding and marketing efforts to non-cannabis verticals will reflect this fact. This initiative will not only aid in broadening the general user base of our products, but will also shine a spotlight on and increase general visibility of our product, particularly to those crypto users that shy away from cannabis specific offerings. Additionally, this opens many avenues to us from a marketing standpoint — due to some platforms and channels prohibiting cannabis adjacent solicitations.
This same strategy applies to our EDEN Blockchain — which will soon have its own site and marketing materials. While this provenance layer clearly has utility in cannabis, we realize there is value in a more general facing side to the product. As such, future marketing materials will address this too.
Better Tokens Approval
As you may have already noticed, the Tokes (TKS) logo is now appearing in the Waves Decentralized Exchange (DEX) along with a “qualified” label. This is because we were recently accepted by Waves’ BetterTokens program as a qualified asset within the framework of the Tokenization Standards Association (TSA). We are delighted to have satisfied their meticulous standards for tokens and for the visibility that the “qualified” label brings within the Waves DEX.
BetterTokens uses the TSA framework and grades on a number of factors, including…
- Tokenization: i.e., Does the project need a token?
- Token buyer protections
- Risk Management
- Record Keeping
- Healthy Market Practices
- Due Diligence
- Legal Standing
In a crypto ecosystem with now thousands of tokens, it is great to have the recognition by a standards association for our efforts of the past years.
More information on the BetterTokens project is available at http://bettertokens.org
State Government Efforts
The executive team has been pursuing integrations with state entities both on the payment front and for supply chain visibility (e.g., provenance of cannabis plants from seed to sale). As we have discussed, Tokes founders Michael Wagner and Gabriel Allred spent a considerable amount of time in Nevada’s capital Carson City this legislative session, talking about blockchain, cashless payments, and giving supporting testimony on a number of bills including AB466, the treasurer’s proposed “closed-loop” payment system for the cannabis industry. In late May this bill made its way through both houses and was signed into law by Governor Sisolak. This will soon open the door for a pilot program within which vendors will be selected to provide solutions for payments within the cannabis industry. Tokes plans to be a participant in this program and provide not only business to state solutions, but the full consumer workflow that we have been producing for a number of months now.
Also, at the time of this posting, Rhode Island has closed its recent solicitation for proposals from blockchain providers. This was a call for general solicitations from blockchain vendors in order to hear potential solutions and optimizations for many entities within the state — including for the medical cannabis industry. Tokes submitted two responses to Rhode Island’s request; the first, a cashless payment solution similar to that which we are proposing in Nevada. The second, a proposal for supply chain visibility tools for the provenance of cannabis data within the state.
These types of state integrations, while often antithetic to general cryptocurrency attitudes about government, are a critical component to adoption of our software within regulated industries like cannabis. Expect updates soon about our ongoing state government efforts.
Upcoming Strategy and Exchanges
One final note this month about recent news around the Tokes token. As discussed in CEO Michael Wagner’s post earlier this month, we are continuing full steam ahead with the development and deployment strategy of our products. One component of this is upcoming exchange integrations, for which we have several placements standing by. We are taking this opportunity to develop new tokenomic models within our development roadmap, in order to increase the utility of the token. We think our user base will appreciate what we’ve been cooking up.
Michael Wagner and Gabriel Allred appeared on the Bad Crypto podcast in late May! Give the episode a listen here…
Gold, Weed and News - The Bad Crypto Podcast
Money can buy a lot of things. Many financial advisors will tell you to diversify and invest some of your funds in…
Until next time…
Here’s to something new. Here’s to the revolution.
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