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For cannabis dispensaries that can’t bank on banks, Epazz, Inc. (OTC: EPAZ) is offering a way to accept payments that is just as reliable and secure as having a merchant account. Through its ZenaPay payment system, patients and customers of cannabis establishments will be able to purchase bitcoin and use the cryptocurrency to make their purchases. ZenaPay also comes with a “wallet” that allows bitcoin to be stored for later use. The system offers a way out of the dilemma faced by the cannabis industry. On the one hand, since under federal law (the Controlled Substances Act) cannabis remains a Schedule 1 substance, transmitting funds derived from its sale is illegal, and depositary institutions risk running afoul of federal regulators, under the purview of which the majority of them fall. On the other hand, dealing with large amounts of cash increases the likelihood of criminal activity. However, with bitcoin payments through ZenaPay, dispensaries get the best elements of two worlds: safety and reliability that matches the “online” banking system together with the anonymity and privacy of cash.
Bitcoin may have earned a bad rap as the currency of the darknet and sites that traffic in illegal substances such as the Silk Road. However, according to a recent study undertaken by a team from the University of Cambridge (http://dtn.fm/oB1ic), the use of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is widespread. Currently, the ‘number of unique active users of crypocurrency wallets is estimated to be between 2.9 million and 5.8 million.’ Moreover, ‘as of April 2017, the combined market value of all cryptocurrencies is $27 billion’.
Developed by person or persons unknown under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, bitcoin was designed to be ‘a purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash (which) would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution’, according to the paper announcing its development (http://dtn.fm/7jVJ3). The crucial aspect, of course, is that a bitcoin transaction does not go through a financial institution. Nevertheless, the transaction is made just as secure by encryption, as it is in the “online” system where a bank verifies and ensures the security of the transaction.
In May, Epazz announced the beta launch of ZenaPay (http://dtn.fm/2eVFH), which offers benefits for both dispensaries and their customers. For sellers impoverished by high charges on their merchant accounts, ZenaPay will lower transaction costs. It will also, naturally, reduce the amounts of cash they have to handle to national levels, which, according to a Fed study (http://dtn.fm/1QkHS), comprised only 32 percent of consumer transactions in 2015, down from 40 percent in 2012. Accepting bitcoin will, in addition, endow a merchant with a trendier image likely to appeal to Millennials. Buyers benefit from a medium that has many of the characteristics of cash, such as acceptability, anonymity, divisibility, durability, limited supply, portability and uniformity. Indeed, bitcoins are much more divisible than cash. It is quite okay to have one-hundredth million (0.00000001) of a bitcoin, although what you can buy with that is unclear.
Recently, Epazz announced its first quarter results for 2017 (http://dtn.fm/xX2J3). The company reported unaudited revenues of $473,974, which were 14 percent higher than the $416,260 for the first quarter of 2016. The increase in revenues also came with a move into the black. Net income was $28,186 (unaudited) compared to a loss of $375,553 for the first quarter of 2016. When ZenaPay moves past the beta phase, revenues are likely to increase even further. Announcing the first quarter results for 2017, Epazz, Inc. CEO Shaun Passley, Ph.D., said:
“Our valuation in the marketplace is not reflecting our true value. We are increasing our revenues and decreasing our costs, thereby creating a positive net income. We believe we can finish the year strong. We will continue to move to build shareholder value on all fronts. As we go on in 2017, we expect our newly launched Zenapay to begin to generate revenues.”
For more information, visit the company’s website at www.Epazz.com
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