High Times is high on crypto.
The magazine famous for promoting counterculture and the legalization of marijuana is set to become the first company to accept Bitcoin and Ethereum in it’s upcoming IPO. CEO of High Times, Adam Levine, says the initiative will broaden the pool of potential investors.
“High Times has been at the forefront of popular culture for more than four decades…Now we’re taking another step into the future, not only as one of the first cannabis-related brands to go public on the Nasdaq but also as the first to allow Bitcoin and Ethereum as part of our public capital raise.”
The capital raise will be conducted through a Regulation A+ crowdfunding event. A Reg A+ offering, also called a “mini-IPO,” allows private companies to democratize the fundraising process by enabling customers to own a piece of the company. Before Reg A+ offerings, private companies could only crowdfund from accredited investors.
High Times prides themselves on being progressive. Therefore, accepting cryptocurrencies seems to be consistent with that ethos. However, they didn’t seem to keen on conducting an ICO.
“Beginning with our Reg. A+ crowdfunding, we’ve been focused on giving everyone from retail investors to long-time fans more ways to own a piece of High Times. While we didn’t believe that the ICO process was the right move for our brand, it would’ve been foolish to leave this emerging investor base out.”
Apparently, the potcoin model did not appeal to High Times.
According to the article, investors can now purchase shares in the company for as little as $11.
Is High Times starting a trend?
As the first company to accept cryptocurrencies in a traditional fundraising format, High Times has a unique opportunity to be a trendsetter. As consumer cryptocurrency adoption increases, it’s possible we will see other companies follow suit. Accessing larger pools of liquidity increases the likelihood of raising a successful round.
So why wouldn’t a company want increased access to funding?
The answer is two-fold. First, cryptocurrencies are volatile. Therefore, fundraising with cryptocurrency introduces volatility to a company’s monetary base. $1mln worth of bitcoin can turn into $750,000 overnight. Thus, financial planning becomes much more speculative and opaque. Second, the stigma around cryptocurrencies might instill fear
If nothing else, this initiative could catalyze a discussion about cryptocurrency’s place in traditional fundraising practices. However, if the initial promises of ICO’s are ultimately fulfilled, then the discussion will be moot – everything will become tokenized, irrespective of the asset class.