BLOK Technologies and Varipay to build cannabis payment solution

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BLOK Technologies (CSE:BLK) announced on Wednesday (August 1) that it and Varipay are partnering together to generate a blockchain-based payment solution for the pending legalized cannabis industry.

According to the press release, under the terms of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) the companies will work together to develop a “payment gateway” in connection with Greenstream Network.

Greenstream Network is a blockchain-based supply chain developed by BLOK’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Greenstream Networks, for the Canadian cannabis industry. Complete legalization of cannabis is officially slated for October of this year.

“The strategic partnership with Varipay will provide us with the critical infrastructure and services for processing digital payments on the secure payment gateway we are configuring using Greenstream’s blockchain technology,” Joel Yaffe, chief technology officer and director of BLOK Technologies said in the release. “This provides efficient transaction processing for B2B and B2C customers across the cannabis supply chain while ensuring supply chain integrity and protecting transactions against fraudulent actions.”

According to the MOU, Varipay will provide to Greenstream the means for payment processing. From there, Greenstream will work to provide Varipay’s technology solution with blockchain.

Lastly, BLOK Technologies, Greenstream and Varipay will all work together in developing and designing financial services, blockchain and “other business opportunities” specifically for the cannabis industry.

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Ray Rasouli, founder and CEO of Varipay said in the joint press release that its payment gateways paired with BLOK Technologies’ blockchain solutions will “provide enhanced support to this growing sector of the Canadian economy.”

In terms of blockchain’s potential impact in the cannabis industry, in November of last year IBM (NYSE:IBM) issued a report called “BlockChain: An Irrefutable Chain of Custody Audit for the Seed to Sale in BC,” and suggested to the province that blockchain is an “ideal mechanism” to enhance the cannabis industry.

“Blockchain is rapidly becoming a world leading technology enabling the assured exchange of value in both digital and tangible assets, while protecting privacy and eliminating fraud,” the document reads. “Its relevance to regulating cannabis is similar to its many chain of custody applications in areas such as pharmaceutical distribution and food chains. The core to those supply chains is the same, assuring health and safety of consumers, preventing fraud and counterfeiting while creating a foundation of transparency upon which to base regulation.”

Greenstream is working to build blockchain platforms focused on licensed cannabis producers, online cannabis merchants, customers and the government to track, access, share and authenticate the “legal cannabis movement” in all areas of the supply chain. With complete legalization of cannabis pending, Greenstream is already working to develop a “technology architecture” to address the supply chain requirements for the legal market.

Following the announcement on Wednesday, shares of BLOK Technologies increased 6.67 percent to reach C$0.08 as of 2:06 p.m. EST.

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