Is Perkscoin Really a Digital Currency, or Just a Gift Card?

This site doesn't want you to use cash when you buy cannabis.

The list of startups working to fix the weed world’s banking problem is always growing. More blockchain-empowered-platforms and providers of cashless payment solutions join the marijuana-tech rat race each week. Tokken Pay, Spare App, CanPay ––just to name a few. 

On Tuesday, online cannabis community and marketplace CannaSoS posted a blog debuting what the site says is a digital currency. It's called Perkscoin (PRC), and the supposed Internet-money works like game tokens at an arcade. Users of the site can gift one another with PRC, or purchase PRC that can be stored in a CannaSoS-provided digital wallet and used on the CannaSos marketplace. Users can also be rewarded with PRC for interacting with site content, according to the blog post. 

From the CannaSoS blog:

“When the CannaSOS team began developing Perkscoin, it was simply a concept of a reward system for our users. With time, Perkscoin project has evolved into a digital currency, with the reward system in mind. CannaSOS has decided to create a simple economy model based on user activity. Be more active by writing or posting interesting articles, ask meaningful advice questions or leave comments, earn contribution points and convert them into Perkscoins."

What positions PRC not as a digital currency, and more as a glorified gift card, however, is that the digital asset is accepted as payment exclusively on the CannaSoS-hosted marketplace, and is worthless virtually everywhere else on the Internet. Even some vendors on the CannaSoS marketplace don’t accept the PRC in transactions. Though acquired PRC can be converted into one of four local currencies in order to refill one’s digital wallet, and vendors on the site can use PRC to purchase advertising space from its creators, once any currency is placed into the CannaSoS-hosted digital wallet, it cannot be withdrawn. 

PRC is admittedly a pretty cool way to buy weed online, but let's hold off on designating it as a revolutionary technology or—frankly––a virtual currency. Until that real currency revolution comes along, most marijuana businesses will continue storing cash in racks, stacks, and rubber-bands.