Multichain Ventures Secures Public Sector Contract with Nevada to Supply Tokenized Financial Ecosystem for the Legal Cannabis Industry 12849

Multichain Ventures Inc., a pioneer in blockchain, tokenized ecosystems and digital financial infrastructure, utilizing their proprietary patent pending commerce solutions, is pleased to announce that alongside another vendor, has secured a public sector contract with the State of Nevada to fulfill the requirements of Assembly Bill 466. The Bill creates a Pilot Program and legal framework within which legal cannabis entities and supporting businesses can eliminate the necessity of transacting exclusively in cash, through the implementation of blockchain-based financial technology services.

Multichain Ventures was an early participant in roundtable discussions which ultimately culminated in the AB466 proposal, contributing feedback during two events over the course of 2018. Early discussions centered on a variety of potential alternative solutions to issues facing cannabis operators. Co-founders Michael Wagner, CFA and Gabriel Allred, PhD consulted directly with more than twenty five public officials on the fundamentals of tokenized ecosystems, and the inherent advantages of speed, functionality, and transparency of such systems.

FEDERAL OUTLOOK

Cannabis remains a Schedule I federally controlled substance by the DEA in the United States. As a result, federally regulated entities, such as banks and payment processors, are reluctant to provide services to marijuana businesses, despite some form of legal status across 35 states.

The Cannabis 2021 outlook for federal reform is staging for major strides due to the new U.S. Senate revamp. Recent Democratic victories in Georgia give the Democrats 50 seats along with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris holding the tiebreaking vote.

Recent cannabis public market activity increased, with investors feeling inclined to activate investment vehicles in response to Washington’s projected approval of policies and legislation opening commerce to increase business across the nation.

Without a Republican-anchored Senate, cannabis reform efforts stand a chance in congress. But not without grit, perseverance and time. The U.S. economy and the coronavirus pandemic are at the forefront of our Nation’s priorities. Historically, President-elect Joe Biden’s marijuana agenda includes a moderate approach:

  • Legalizing medical marijuana federally
  • Rescheduling marijuana
  • Supporting states’ rights

Cannabis banking reform would enable more marijuana enterprises to use not only traditional banking sources but to also tap into additional sources of capital for business operations and expansion. However, we see a long road ahead until dispensaries and other industry supply chain operators can transact safely with our Nation’s biggest banks.

“Supply chain and financial managers struggle to implement strategic decisions, arrested by a regulatory environment characterized by commerce restrictions. Despite continuous obstacles the cannabis industry continues to see year over year growth driven by global demand. As we look forward into the cannabis economic mechanics we have the opportunity to build this industry with a best in class financial infrastructure benefiting the consumer experience, operator value chain and government regulatory mandates. ” Pablo Quiroga, Chief Operating Officer, Multichain Ventures, Inc.

PILOT PROGRAM

The AB466 Pilot Program represents a first-of-its-kind solution to the rapidly growing cannabis sector, which continues to see expansion in state legalization. It is a major step in reinventing how cannabis operators conduct business. AB466 specifically calls for a tokenized, closed-loop financial ecosystem. Operators and supporting businesses will have the opportunity to optionally participate in the pilot. The system is designed such that cash deposits are converted to a fully collateralized stable token, which can then be freely transacted with other participants. Ecosystem parties are able to remove cash from the ecosystem through the redemption of stable tokens, and withdrawals to external facilities.

“The Pilot Program presents a tremendous opportunity for Multichain Ventures to demonstrate the enormous potential of blockchain and decentralized technology to solve problems facing the world today. Cannabis institutions have long faced stigma and have lacked access to financial infrastructure most businesses take for granted.” Michael Wagner, CFA – Co-Founder and CEO, Multichain Ventures, Inc.

The Bill saw considerable support from both legislators and local law enforcement during the legislative process in 2019, during which it passed without opposition at both the committee level and on the floor of both houses. Crime related to cash held at dispensaries and cultivation facilities has been problematic for operators. With large volumes of cash transacted daily, and no banking facility to deposit, they are a considerable target for criminals.

“We are very excited to launch this innovative pilot program to provide the legal cannabis industry a safe and efficient way to engage in financial transactions. It is our hope that this pilot program will not only increase public safety in Nevada, but will also provide government entities with a streamlined process to collect tax revenue.” Zach Conine, Nevada State Treasurer.

CUSTOM TAILORED TECHNOLOGY SOLUTION

Multichain Ventures developed a custom solution to satisfy the requirements of the Bill. Leveraging its established digital currency financial infrastructure (patent pending), and integrating the Solana Blockchain Protocol for smart contract deployment, they further developed a software suite dedicated to operators within the Nevada market. Functionality exists to view token balances, review invoices, conduct business-to-business transactions, and mint and redeem stable tokens. All processes are encapsulated in a robust compliance process that factors marijuana retail business (MRB) reporting requirements. Supply chain transparency and seed-to-sale tracking on blockchain will be implemented in the future. The platform is currently capable of integrating with METRC, a standardized government and regulatory reporting platform utilized in Nevada, and numerous other states.

The solution initially targets licensed cannabis operators, including dispensaries, cultivators, and production facilities. However, Multichain Ventures sees a great opportunity to expand into surrounding businesses, such as utility companies, landlords, payroll companies, ancillary service providers, and with the Nevada Department of Taxation for tax remittance. This ecosystem could further provide value to existing popular canna-tech companies, such as Distru and Akerna, as an enhancement to their platforms.

Operators should encounter little disruption to existing business procedures, as the onboarding process was designed from the ground up with the end user in mind. During the initial rollout, operators will continue accepting cash from the consumer as they do today. However, post-consumer transaction, the operator is presented with the ability to deposit reconciled cash with a federal bank facility provided as a resource within the Pilot. Cash becomes tokenized upon deposit, and can then be transacted electronically throughout the ecosystem. Upon completion of the lifecycle of the digital token, it will be redeemed for cash at a one-to-one value with dollars collateralizing the token.

Early feedback from the industry has been positive, with several operators interested in participating in the beta program. TapRoot Brands, a vertically integrated Nevada-based operator, sees the potential for such a system to resolve safety and security issues they face in cash handling and management.

“The strong growth that the cannabis industry has seen nationwide over the last year further reinforces the need for a solution to minimize or eliminate cash transactions and develop banking solutions ahead of federal legalization. Not only does the current cash-only system lead to public safety vulnerabilities for employees, dispensary customers and regulators, but it ties up valuable resources due to the time commitments of cash handling and documentation. TapRoot is excited to participate in the development of this pilot program, and assisting both the Multichain Ventures team and the Nevada State Department of Taxation implement a much needed solution for the industry.” Shane Terry – TapRoot Brands, CEO

FORWARD LOOKING

While the immediate benefits of safe asset custody and electronic transactions are obvious, the long-term potential remains robust. Transactions globally are naturally trending towards electronic services, and digital currency itself is seeing increasing rates of adoption. The solution presented provides an optimal customer experience, convenience, safety, and security for both consumers and businesses alike. With near-instant settlement on transactions, and none of the fees typically associated with payments, the framework for global adoption of blockchain now exists.

Multichain Ventures continues expanding its service offerings within the financial technology suite. Portfolio management, exchange integrations, investment management, DeFi (decentralized finance) and yield generating opportunities are presently under development, in partnership with companies such as Brave New Coin. Multichain Ventures has positioned itself as the single source of financial infrastructure for businesses and consumers alike to access the rapidly expanding blockchain ecosystem.

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Bitcoin Association launches Introduction to Bitcoin Development online course at Bitcoin SV Academy 7368

Bitcoin Association, the Switzerland-based global industry organisation that works to advance business with the Bitcoin SV blockchain, today announces the official launch of the Introduction to Bitcoin Development course at Bitcoin SV Academy. The course is available free of charge and can be accessed from today at http://bitcoinsv.academy.

Introduction to Bitcoin Development is part of the Bitcoin Development stream of Bitcoin SV Academy and has been designed to equip application developers with the skills, tools and techniques required to build applications on the Bitcoin SV network. The course covers Bitcoin as a data protocol – including reading, writing and advanced functionalities with the Bitcoin ledger, payment protocols, token protocols and smart contracts. At the conclusion of the course, participants will be tested on their knowledge through an online examination, with a course certificate available upon successful completion for those who have demonstrated proficiency and understanding of the subject matter.

Bitcoin SV Academy is an online education platform for Bitcoin which offers academia-quality, university-style courses and learning materials in three distinct streams, Bitcoin Theory, Bitcoin Development and Bitcoin Infrastructure. Developed and run by Bitcoin Association, Bitcoin SV Academy has been created to make learning about Bitcoin – the way creator Satoshi Nakamoto designed it – accessible, accurate and understandable.

The launch of Introduction to Bitcoin Development today follows the successful rollout of Introduction to Bitcoin Theory – the first course to be launched on Bitcoin SV Academy – in December 2020. Later this year, the first module in the Bitcoin Infrastructure stream Introduction to Bitcoin Infrastructure is due to launch, followed by intermediate and advanced level courses across the three streams.

NexChange Group and Marita Group Co-Host Africa Blockchain Week Virtual Summit to Showcase Continent’s Technological Leapfrog 8410

NexChange Group, a blockchain ecosystem and venture builder and MARITA Group, an African conglomerate will combine forces to co-host this Virtual Summit. The event will feature key industry players and decision-makers contributing to regulation, application, investment and education across many African countries.

Juwan Lee, Chairman of NexChange Group: “Africa is the next big move for blockchain. We see not just opportunities in the payment space and financial inclusion, but we see significant institutional involvement.”

The new reality has proven technology to be a bridge to a better future. Strong ties between African countries, like the cooperation South-South, encouraged by HRH Mohammed VI go beyond just politics. New economic bridges ensure that Africa is able to bypass certain steps on a technological stair, positioning itself ahead of the global curve. Described by the World Bank and called leapfrogging, it relies strongly on enhanced technologies including blockchain.

Rahhal Boulgoute, Chairman of Marita Group: “Blockchain will revolutionize Africa and provide opportunities for financial inclusion. It is important that we expose blockchain technology in Africa.”

The impact is seen on Africa’s financial map. Over the last years, digital banking and mobile payments have proven to be a real-life case study for millions of users, making people’s financial lives better, ensuring inclusion, and changing the game for the unbanked. Banks, enterprises, and entrepreneurs are changing the continent’s destiny, shaping the investment landscape.

This event backs the efforts of the African regulators to adopt the required regulations to embrace blockchain and become a main global player in the technologies shaping the future. The ambition of the Co-hosts is to make Africa Blockchain Week the key platform for dialogue and networking between all stakeholders in blockchain to transform it into a reality in Africa.

NexChange Group is a venture builder and media platform specializing in Blockchain, FinTech, HealthTech, AI, and Smart Cities.

Marita Group Holding is a global company focused on:

  • turnkey solutions in real estate development, theme parks, smart cities
  • Renewable energy and waste recovery, hydrogen production, electric mobility
  • sustainable agriculture and sustainable development
  • local mining development of natural resources
  • health, medical products, equipment and supplies

ZIM & Marius Nacht complete additional investment in WAVE BL, a leading provider of a paperless Bill of Lading solution 8406

ZIM Integrated Shipping Services Ltd. (NYSE: ZIM) and Marius Nacht, one of Israel’s leading serial entrepreneurs and investors, announced today that they have jointly invested in a Series B Financing round of WAVE BL, a developer of groundbreaking blockchain network supporting paperless trade in the shipping industry. The two investors co-lead a round of approximately $8 million that will accelerate global implementation of WAVE BL’s proven technology.

ZIM pioneered the first paperless electronic bill of lading pilot in the shipping industry in 2017 using WAVE BL’s platform and has since widely expanded its use to become the industry leader. Electronic bill of lading is currently offered to ZIM customers worldwide, requiring only a simple onboarding process which is supported by ZIM.

Digitization of bills of lading is revolutionizing shipping documentation, sharply reducing time, complexity, errors and costs for all parties involved, while maintaining a high level of security and, importantly, being far more sustainable than the traditional paper bill of lading.

Aligning with international rules, standards and insurance coverage such as IG P&I Clubs and eUCP 600, WAVE BL’s one of a kind decentralized, digital documentation solution is changing the shipping industry as it becomes the new industry benchmark enabling secure and efficient remote business continuity.

Proceeds will be used to support development of WAVE BL’s business and further implementation of its pioneering technology supporting paperless trade in the shipping industry, as well as in other sectors.

ZIM President and CEO Eli Glickman: “Our early adoption of WAVE BL’s blockchain based platform to promote paperless trade highlights our leadership in utilizing digital strategies to best serve customers and has proven extremely successful for ZIM and for changing the industry. Today, ZIM is an industry leader in paperless shipping processes, and we are seeing growing interest from others in our sector to adopt the platform reflecting the significant benefits it provides to both customers and carriers. This new investment in WAVE BL is a step forward in the path to a more digitized and sustainable future, in accordance with our vision and values.”

ZIM CIO Eyal Ben-Amram: “Since completing the integration of WAVE BL’s platform with our system, we can offer every customer the ability to enjoy the vast benefits of paperless shipping, which is especially crucial during COVID-19. We are pleased and proud to continue our support of this exciting and leading company.”

WAVE BL CEO Gadi Ruschin“Our partnership with ZIM has enabled us to introduce our pioneering technology to a vast audience as we endeavor to become the shipping industry standard in paperless trade. We are extremely pleased with the continued faith and commitment of ZIM and Marius Nacht in our company and look forward to leading the wave of the future in shipping.”

Ophir Shoham, who leads Marius Nacht’s investments in high-tech: “We are proud to continue supporting WAVE BL’s remarkable technology and believe in its disruptive potential, leading to a fundamental change in the way business is conducted across countless sectors and industries. We are very impressed with the great progress the team has made and excited to invest in WAVE BL’s trail-blazing platform.”

River Financial raises $12M Series A to continue explosive growth of its Bitcoin financial services for traditional investors 8825

San Francisco-based Bitcoin financial services provider River Financial closed a $12 million Series A equity financing round to continue growing its financial service offerings for traditional investors. The investment round was led by Goldcrest Capital with participation from Craft Ventures, Polychain Capital, M13, Castle Island, Slow Ventures, and The Kraft Group.

River Financial previously announced a $5.7 million seed round in June 2020. In the nine months since the company’s seed round announcement, River’s client base has grown by almost 600%, and order volumes have increased by 3,500%. River’s recent iOS app has accelerated the company’s growth, already accounting for over 30% of all River’s order volume within five weeks of launch. River Financial continues to experience exponential growth in new customers and order volume month-over-month as global interest in Bitcoin continues to grow rapidly. Social unrest, inflation fears, and recent elections are driving droves of traditional investors to Bitcoin and River.

River is investing heavily in team growth and product development. According to Co-Founder and CEO Alex Leishman, “Bitcoin is on a trajectory to becoming a global reserve asset, and we are building the financial services that our clients will need for that future.” River’s focus on premium client services and traditional financial tooling, including tax lot tracking and account statements, is attracting increasing numbers of high-end clients who find incumbent solutions intimidating and confusing.

The majority of volume on River is driven by clients over the age of 50, but Co-Founder and COO Andrew Benson believes there is still a large underserved segment of the population, “River’s mission is to bring Bitcoin to investors around the world. Even as global interest in Bitcoin grows rapidly, most Americans over the age of 45 who want Bitcoin still don’t own any. River is helping to fix that by creating familiar, high-end financial solutions for investors who are new to Bitcoin.”

Ideanomics Invests in Italian Electric Motorcycle Company, Energica Motor Company 10031

Ideanomics (NASDAQ: IDEX) (“Ideanomics” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce it has acquired 20% of Italian Energica Motor Company S.p.A. (Energica) for the consideration of $13.2 million. It develops high performance 100% battery-powered motorbikes. With this investment in Energica, Ideanomics expands its global footprint in the electric vehicle (EV) industry, and complements Treeletrik’s business in the ASEAN market. This investment marks continued investment in European-based OEM.

“Energica has combined zero emissions EV technology with high-performance engineering synonymous with Italy’s Motor Valley to create a range of exceptional products for the motorcycle market. It also has proprietary EV battery and DC fast-charging systems that have applications and synergies with Ideanomics Mobility. We are very impressed with Livia and her team, and we look forward to supporting them through their next phases of growth,” said Alf Poor, CEO of Ideanomics.

The rapid increase of EV sales that began in 2019 has continued to gain momentum over the past year. The global high performance electric motorcycle market is growing at a CAGR of over 35% from 2019-2024. With its state-of-the-art battery technology development, Energica was chosen by Dorna as a single manufacturer for the FIM Enel MotoE™ World Cup. With this partnership, Energica has been able to test new battery solutions and innovations in extreme conditions with the best riders in the world to advance its high-performance battery technology.

“We are proud to be part of this unified global platform”, says Livia Cevolini, CEO of Energica Motor Company S.p.A. “Ideanomics’ network of innovative companies will help accelerate the growth and adoption of new EV technologies such Energica.. We look forward to leveraging Ideanomics to capture market share in the rapidly growing global electric motorcycle market”.

Max Dilendorf Serves as a Bitcoin Expert Witness in USCIS EB-5 Green Card Adjudication Proceedings 9520

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has frequently denied EB-5 applications that list Bitcoin exchange-traded-funds as a legitimate “source of funds”. Yet, in an unprecedented approach that included forensic reporting analysis, attorney Max Dilendorf provided an expert legal opinion and due diligence report proving that a green card applicants’ source of funds met the standards to be qualified under this program.

Because USCIS only requires a “preponderance of evidence” showing the legal acquisition of investment funds in EB-5 petitions and offers little guidance for applicants whose funds originated in cryptocurrency, Dilendorf’s confirming evidence was a significant achievement.

The Dilendorf Law Firm, NYC’s top law firm for the digital age, represented several clients in EB-5 matters with the USCIS concerning the clients’ EB-5 investments funded with cryptocurrencies. By submitting blockchain and cryptocurrency expert reports in these cases, the firm has provided evidence to support the legitimate “source of funds”.

The firm’s clients were software engineers and early cryptocurrency adopters who, in the opinion of the crypto compliance law firm, are legally qualified for obtaining EB-5 investor green-cards, as there was little doubt on the legality of the source of the clients’ cryptocurrency funds.

Dilendorf’s legal opinions and blockchain forensic reports, as submitted to the USCIS, included an expert assessment of the following:

  • legality of the specific digital assets and regulatory framework for the involved financial institutions dealing with cryptocurrencies;
  • origin and flow of cryptocurrencies funding the EB-5 investments;
  • mechanism and sufficiency of digital wallets, private cryptographic keys, crypto trading platforms and accounts establishing ownership of the clients’ cryptocurrency funds;
  • KYC/AML compliance measures taken at each point of the funds’ journey by clients and third parties, including crypto exchanges and OTC traders.

Max Dilendorf, Esq. is also a top forensic Bitcoin and crypto expert witness. His expertise has also made him one of the top cryptocurrency consultants for Fortune 500 companies.  Mr. Dilendorf’s recent speaking engagements have included the Thailand SEC, IBM, Berkshire Hathaway, and New York University, to name a few.