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PotCoin funded Rodman's North Korea trip

Since then, the weed cryptocurrency has plunged 37 percent

So as it turns out, there’s a Canadian connection to the absurd story of Dennis Rodman’s blossoming relationship with North Korea.

PotCoin, a cryptocurrency founded by three entrepreneurs from Montreal back in 2014, paid for Dennis Rodman’s recent, bizarre, five-day North Korean extravaganza, which he claims was to “open the door for North Korea to the world of sports.”

In an interview with Radio-Canada, PotCoin confirmed that it funded Rodman’s trip, but didn’t disclose details of the exact agreement it has struck with the former basketball star.


“I want to thank the folks at PotCoin,” Rodman said in a press release on the PotCoin website days before the scheduled trip. “They realized the importance of this trip and made it all possible for me.” Rodman even sported a PotCoin T-shirt during his trip (pictured above) exposing the cryptocurrency’s brand to millions of television viewers worldwide.

Beyond publicity, though, it is unclear why PotCoin has chosen to affiliate itself with Dennis Rodman and North Korea. Founded by developers Joel Yeffe and Nick Iversen in Montreal, the peer-to-peer cryptocurrency’s ultimate goal is to become the standard form of payment for the legal marijuana industry.

The idea, Yeffe told Radio-Canada in a recent interview, was to invent a virtual currency, tradable only online, that would serve as the dominant form of payment for the Colorado marijuana dispensary market. Because marijuana is still illegal on a federal level in the U.S., many dispensaries struggle to obtain lines of credit from major banks to operate their marijuana businesses — PotCoin’s role is to fill this monetary vacuum.

PotCoin’s market capitalization, that is, the value of the company based on the price it trades on the stock market, is a stunning $28 million. Back in 2014, just months after was invented, the cryptocurrency had a market capitalization of $244,000. Between 2014 and 2017, however, the purchase and sale of medical marijuana became legal in nine U.S. states, lending credence to PotCoin’s rapid rise in value.

Strangely enough, for all the positive publicity the weed cryptocurrency hoped to get out of Rodman’s North Korea trip, it plunged 23 percent in value the day after Rodman announced PotCoin had funded his North Korean jaunt. On Tuesday, June 13, one PotCoin was worth USD$0.19 — as of this Friday afternoon it was valued at just 12 cents.

It’s worth pointing out, though, that cryptocurrencies like PotCoin have a tendency to dramatically fluctuate, because much of their worth is based on the perception of stored value in the currency — they aren’t tied to tangible fundamentals, unlike the stock of traditional companies like say Apple and Coca-Cola.

Dennis Rodman or not, it’ll be interesting to see how PotCoin performs in the lead-up to Canada’s nationwide legalization of weed next July.

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