Microsoft ventures on Pot and Bitcoin

Microsoft is buying Wand Labs, a developer of messaging apps, in order to build an AI-powered platform for conversation that is indistinguishable from human chat.

Microsoft is also developing a new blockchain platform called Project Bletchley, which will help support bitcoin. Microsoft's Marley Gray said that:

Project Bletchley is a vision for Microsoft to deliver Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) that is open and flexible for all platforms, partners and customers.

Microsoft's involvement will offer increased credibility and security for bitcoin holders. Today, bitcoin is trading through $750 per BTC, up 190% since this time last year. At today's price, experts continue to recommend a 10% allocation of one's cash holdings to BTC.

Microsoft is also partnering with KIND Financial to offer software for legal cannabis management from seed to sale. Recreational use is legal in Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, D.C., and Washington state (where Bill Gates supported legalization), a list that could add California and four other states shortly. Medical marijuana is legal in 24 states. According to ArcView Market Research, legal sales are expected to hit about $6.7 billion this year, up from $5.4 billion last. Based on Microsoft's cloud platform, KIND will offer management services for this industry. According to the company:

Microsoft supports government missions to regulate and monitor controlled substances and items, from the Justice Department regulating tobacco and firearms to a state regulating legal cannabis.

One factor delaying corporate support for marijuana is the fact that it remains illegal federally. It can be difficult for marijuana companies to take full advantage of the tax benefits and can also be difficult to get financing from banks. But Microsoft's support will add to the corporate acceptance of this growing industry.
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