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What is potcoin? Marijuana cryptocurrency flies Dennis Rodman to Trump-Kim summit

'We at potcoin definitely believe that Dennis Rodman deserves the Nobel Peace Prize'

Anthony Cuthbertson
Tuesday 12 June 2018 03:05 BST
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Dennis Rodman in tears after Donald Trump meets with Kim Jong-un in Singapore

When former NBA star-turned unlikely diplomat Dennis Rodman arrived in Singapore on Monday ahead of the meeting between Donald Trump and North Korea leader Kim Jong-un, the only thing perhaps more surprising than his presence at the historic summit was the t-shirt he was wearing.

Emblazoned within a circular motive stating “peace starts in Singapore” was the logo for potcoin – a marijuana-focussed cryptocurrency that is paying for Rodman’s trip to the city state.

“Thanks to my loyal sponsors from @potcoin and my team at @Prince_Mrketing, I will be flying to Singapore for the historical summit,” Rodman said on Twitter. “I’ll give whatever support is needed to my friends, @realDonaldTrump and Marshall Kim Jong Un.”

Potcoin previously paid for Rodman’s 2017 trip to North Korea, which saw Rodman and his associates appear in Pyongyang wearing t-shirts and hats with the cryptocurrency’s logo. This is despite the fact marijuana is listed as a controlled substance in North Korea, in the same category as cocaine and heroin.

Incidentally, it is also illegal in Singapore, where the maximum penalty for being caught in possession of the plant is the death penalty.

While Rodman is not travelling to Singapore in any official capacity, he hopes to assist in the talks in any way he can. This is not entirely implausible, given that he is one of a very select group of people to have actually met both Mr Trump and Mr Kim.

Rodman knows the US president from his time as a contestant on Celebrity Apprentice in 2009 and 2013 – the same year that he also made the first of several visits to North Korea to meet with Mr Kim.

During his second appearance on Celebrity Apprentice, Rodman said Mr Trump wanted to visit North Korea with him, to which Mr Trump responded in a tweet: “Dennis Rodman was either drunk or on drugs (delusional) when he said I wanted to go to North Korea with him. Glad I fired him on Apprentice!”

Whether or not Rodman plays any diplomatic role this week in Singapore, his trip will serve as a major marketing boost for potcoin – one of more than 1,600 alternative currencies to emerge since the inception of bitcoin in 2009.

Rodman has visited North Korea several times (AFP/Getty)

According to its website, it’s designed as a “network and banking solution” for the global legal marijuana industry. The idea behind it is to facilitate online transactions for the cannabis community in a manner that’s quicker, cheaper and more secure than traditional methods.

A single unit of potcoin is worth just 7 cents (5p), while its entire market capitalisation is just over $17m (£12.7m) – 0.01 per cent of bitcoin’s $115bn (£85bn) market cap.

Potcoin isn’t even the only digital currency geared towards the cannabis industry and community. Cannabiscoin claims to be “the marijuana bitcoin”, while dopecoin describes itself as a digital currency for marijuana enthusiasts.

“Dopecoin is more than a currency, it’s an experience,” its website states. “Our mission is to provide marijuana enthusiasts with a modern and secure way of doing business for the 21st century.”

Neither cannabiscoin nor dopecoin have any significant market value, with combined market caps of less than $5m (£3.5m), according to CoinMarketCap. Even further down the list of altcoins is marijuanacoin, with a market cap of less than $50,000 (£37,300).

(REUTERS/KCNA)

The success of potcoin’s latest marketing stunt may depend on the success of the talks themselves. Rodman’s 2017 potcoin-funded trip to North Korea resulted in the digital currency plummeting by 23 per cent in value.

But beyond legal marijuana and cryptocurrency, the most bizarre part of Rodman's latest trip may still be to come: his legacy as a peace broker between two sworn enemies.

As a spokesperson for the cryptocurency said: "We at potcoin definitely believe that Dennis Rodman deserves the Nobel Peace Prize."

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