Cannabis Brand High Times Walks Back on Becoming ‘First Ever’ IPO to Accept Crypto

  • Canabis brand High Times has recently revealed its IPO won't accept bitcoin, the flagship cryptocurrency.
  • This, after it published a press releasing touting it would accept both bitcoin and ether.

Cannabis culture media firm High Times Holding, which claims to be the “original voice of cannabis,” has recently revealed it won’t be accepting bitcoin, the flagship cryptocurrency, in its initial public offering (IPO).

Earlier this month, as CryptoGlobe covered, High Times published a press release touting it was going to accept bitcoin and ethereum in its IPO, allegedly making it the “first ever” to accept crypto investments.

Now, in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the cannabis brand revealed it won’t accept BTC, and that its announcement was a mistake. The filing reads:

This press release was distributed in error as the Company will not be accepting Bitcoin as payment for shares. As provided in the Company’s subscription agreement related to the offering, the Company will only be accepting check, credit card, ACH or wire transfer as payment for subscription to shares.

SEC filing

At press time, the press release is still up on High Times’ website. The document doesn’t mention ETH, but the cryptocurrency is, presumably, also not going to be accepted in the IPO. As covered, the firm is selling its shares at $11, with the minimum investment amount being of $99. High Times is looking to go public on the Nasdaq exchange under the “HITM” ticker.

The press release was related to the company’s Regulation A+ (Reg A+) offering, which lets small and early-stage companies access capital in an “alternative to a traditional IPO” that lets them sell shares to the general public. Per Nasdaq, the filing lets businesses raise up to $50 million in a 12-month period from the public.

At the time, High Times CEO Adam Levin claimed cryptocurrencies created a new “investor base across the world,” one the company didn’t want to exclude. He added the firm doesn’t believe in initial coin offerings (ICOs), but it “would’ve been foolish to leave this emerging investor base out as we continue to transform into a diversified media, events and merchandise giant.”

Curiously, cryptocurrencies have often been pointed to as a solution to one of the cannabis industry’s problems. In the US, while in some states marijuana usage is legal, most banks refuse to offer cannabis-related businesses banking services, forcing them to operate with cash.

This makes them a ripe target for criminals. Cryptocurrencies, given their features, could be a safer and cheaper alternative to the traditional banking system. Potcoin, a cryptocurrency created for the cannabis industry, made headlines this year after NBA star-turned diplomat Dennis Rodman appeared on CNN wearing its merchandise.

Hacked Exchange Cryptopia Enables Trading in 40 Different Currency Pairs

New Zealand-based digital asset exchange, Cryptopia has reportedly resumed trading on its exchange as it is now allowing 40 different trading pairs. This, after Cryptopia recently experienced from several different security breaches.

Support For Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dogecoin Pairs Added

Cryptopia’s management announced (via Twitter on March 18th) that it is planning to expand its list of coins which will again be supported on its trading platform. As noted on Cryptopia’s official support website, the exchange has enabled several different trading pairs (as of March 19th, 2019) with major cryptocurrencies. These include bitcoin (BTC), litecoin (LTC), and dogecoin (DOGE).

In response to Cryptopia’s announcement, Twitter user @dgb-chilling, a supporter of DigiByte (DGB), a cryptocurrency that uses five different mining algorithms, said that he had emailed the exchange’s support team to inform them regarding the coin’s latest update (version 6.17.2). He added that “an upgrade was recommended but not mandatory.”

Meanwhile, Chuck Norris (@CryptoTweet6) remarked: 

Now this is good news! Let’s hope the rest of the coins will be released for trading swiftly.

Other users also considered it “good news” that the compromised cryptoasset exchange was gradually resuming its operations. However, one social media user asked when Cryptopia would start enabling deposits while another inquired about why his ARK coins were still not recoverable from the trading platform. He claimed that he had deposited 1,000 ARK, currently valued at around $628, (a popular proof-of-stake based coin) on Cryptopia. The user also complained that his coins were missing “missing because [the exchange] did not update the ARK wallet."

Tens Of Millions Of Dollars Stolen In Hack

On February 27th, 2019, Cryptopia’s management announced that it was “assessing the impact incurred as a result of the hack” which led to the theft of tens of millions of dollars in cryptocurrency. Last month, Cryptopia’s support team had also estimated that the total loss incurred due to the security breaches was of around 10% of its total holdings (in the worst-case scenario).

Notably, the exchange’s official Twitter account had been silent for several weeks (since Feburary 14th). However, it released several announcements, starting in late February, in which it revealed that its staff members were working on securing each customer’s account individually. Cryptopia’s management also noted that it was taking the appropriate measures to ensure that its trading platform is secure when it is officially back online.