High Times and NYSE are Making Bitcoin a Mainstream Security

*Update – August 18, 2018

At the beginning of the month, High Times magazine announced that it would accept major cryptocurrencies in its upcoming Nasdaq IPO. However, the company’s subsequent filings with the SEC indicate that High Times will not be following through with its stated intention, and will only be accepting fiat currency payments for shares of stock. Regulatory filings explain that the press release released by High Times announcing its intention to accept cryptocurrencies during its IPO was issued “in error.”

Cryptocurrency is breathing new life into the struggling print media industry. High Times, a New York publication and well-known cannabis advocate, is joining the cryptocurrency revolution as the first-ever company that will accept crypto coins during its upcoming Initial Public Offering (“IPO”). This exciting new development represents a major leap forward in cryptocurrency mainstreaming, particularly in the realm of regulated securities.

High Times Launching IPO on NASDAQ

Last month, High Times announced its intention to join the growing number of marijuana-related companies going public with equity sales. However, the fact that the 43 year-old publication is going public has not been grabbing headlines due to its association with the increasingly-popular marijuana industry. Rather, High Times has broken new ground for offering the first fully-approved IPO that is accepting cryptocurrency in its equity sale.

Once the IPO goes active, investors will have the opportunity to buy a share of the legendary cannabis-advocacy magazine on NASDAQ for $11, or an equivalent sum in Bitcoin or Ethereum. Details regarding how and when cryptocurrency investors will be able to buy in to the IPO are forthcoming, but High Times is among an expanding population of companies looking to integrate cryptocurrency into regulated securities offerings.

Cryptocurrency mining giant Argo Blockchain became the first crypto company to issue an approved IPO on a major exchange when it listed its stock on the London Stock Exchange back in June. And if you believe the financial news, this is only the beginning.

NYSE Embraces Bitcoin

Bitcoin is having a moment in mainstream finance, and not just among cannabis advocates. In an effort to stay ahead of its competitors, the Intercontinental Exchange, owner of the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) and several other prominent global marketplaces, is launching a new venture designed to offer a fully federally-regulated market for Bitcoin trading. The new initiative, deemed Bakkt, was formed with the vision of transforming Bitcoin into a mainstream currency that is both trustworthy and globally accepted.

Bakkt is not the only organization out there looking to skyrocket Bitcoin into the financial mainstream, but its connections to the world’s largest financial institutions puts it at a clear advantage. The company has partnered with the likes of Microsoft, Boston Consulting Group, and Starbucks, all of which are supporting Bakkt’s mission to make Bitcoin a major part of mainstream investing and retail. Following the company’s official launch in November, financial products like Bitcoin pension funds, 401(k)’s, mutual funds, and exchange-traded funds (“ETF”) will soon follow.

Not too long ago, proposing a Bitcoin-backed mutual fund, ETF, or IPO would have gotten you laughed out of even the most daring investment banker’s office. Now, we’re staring down the barrel of a fully-regulated and secure cryptocurrency-backed securities market. The mainstreaming of Bitcoin has been a long time coming, and it’s had to surmount plenty of barriers to get to this point. The use of cryptocurrency in traditional securities markets is an exciting prospect for blockchain advocates and financial markets alike, and we will all be waiting with bated breath to see what’s coming next in the cryptocurrency revolution.

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