For some reason, Dennis Rodman was back in North Korea Tuesday, but even more puzzling is who paid for him to get there: PotCoin.
PotCoin is a cryptocurrency, a digital form of currency used for (you guessed it) the pot industry — it’s essentially Bitcoin for pot.
Much like Bitcoin, the most widely known cryptocurrency, this company uses cryptography to secure transactions and authenticate individual units of the currency in an internet-wide ledger of transactions called the blockchain, which ensures digital copies of the cash can’t be used more than once.
PotCoin was released in January 2014, via GitHub, by three entrepreneurs from Montreal, Canada, with the goal of creating a cryptocurrency that would be used by the legal cannabis industry across the world. Creators boast the currency as a better alternative to centralized currencies (i.e. the U.S. dollar) because users won’t have to pay fees.
Though PotCoin bills itself as a currency for the pot industry, it can technically be used to buy anything, just like Bitcoin.
It's considered one of a number of “altcoins,” which basically means it’s just an alternative cryptocurrency to Bitcoin. Another example of an altcoin currency is Dogecoin, according to an Inverse report.
The value of PotCoin is currently hovering around 15 cents — that’s much lower than Bitcoin, which is currently valued at $2,696, but it’s still a cut above the 1 to 2 cents it maintained prior to splashing into the headlines. Rodman published a video and photos of his arriveal in North Korea attired in the brand's swag.
It’s hard to say whether PotCoin will hold its value or crash — cryptocurrencies are known for their volatility.
So why are they funding Dennis Rodman’s visit to North Korea? Well, other than the obvious publicity, PotCoin hasn’t offered much of an explanation for it’s unusual sponsorship.