Companies This Vaporizer Brand Wants To Defeat Big Tobacco Through Music, Fashion & Art Published 3 years ago on September 11, 2015 By Justin OConnell The Money Makers Club now has 6 of 15 available seats. Learn more here! As vaporization disrupts big tobacco, PAX Labs has positioned itself as one of the cutting edge producers of vaporization technology in the world. The company recently launched an e-cigarette, JUUL, which joins its existing PAX loose-leaf vaporizer product line to bring vaporization to the more luxury-minded. The Pax Brand has focused on three distinct areas for building its brand – music, fashion and art. “Music has always been a natural fit for PAX. Many within the music community have adopted PAX as part of their lifestyle, and music continues to be a significant means of expression for our fan-base. Through music, we’re able to connect to a universal passion and experience across customer segments,” PAX Labs CMO Richard Mumby states. PAX can be seen at music festivals like Coachella, SXSW and Pitchfork, at all of which they’ve hosted parties. For Outside Lands in 2015, PAX Vapor threw one of the biggest after parties at the entire festival. The brand hosted a “secret show” featuring Toro y Moi, an American recording artist and producer, that was free with RSVP. “The Outside Lands after-party we threw was amazing,” James Monsees, CEO and co-founder, told Hacked. “There were 11,000 RSVPs for a venue that could hold 600.” This was a marketing coup of sorts for the San Francisco-based PAX. “It was a pretty big moment for us to have the best after-party available for Outside Lands weekend,” Sarah Richardson, director of corporate communications, told me. The company has the perfect technology for festivals and the like which have traditionally been dominated by smoking. What’s more, vaping offers festival-goers a potentially healthier option than traditional smoking, according to a recent UK study. That study endorsed vaporization over traditional smoking. Health officials claimed vaporizing is 95 percent safer than other tobacco products and suggested doctors could potentially prescribe vaporization as a means of quitting smoking. In California and India government has sought to regulate e-cigarettes. The World Health Organization has also called for stricter controls on the devices. That’s what makes the recent UK study stand out: the Public Health England (PHE), an agency in Britain’s Department of Health, recently found e-cigarettes to be a healthy alternative to regular cigarettes. E-cigarettes are not completely risk free but when compared to smoking, evidence shows they carry just a fraction of the harm, stated PHE’s Professor Kevin Fenton. PAX 2 – Photo: PAX In the past two years, sales of the PAX product line have grown nearly 200% over the past two years. The company has sold well over 500,000 PAX 1 vaporizers since the PAX 1 launched Fall 2012. What’s the brand’s secret? “We approach vaporization very broadly,” Monsees said. “What I see in JUUL is technology that has been hoped for and demanded by consumers for a long time.” His plans do not, however, stop with PAX and JUUL. “There will be more in the future,” he tells me. “It’s only the beginning for vapor technology.” Monsees believes that, over time, there will be new avenues for exploration in the vaporization realm. “As the future unfolds there are new categories – new verticals – that we want to penetrate,” the CEO says. “We are trying to take the burgeoning technology in the vaporizer space forward with JUUL, which I think represents the biggest technological advancement in the history of vaporization.” While Monsees is mindful of the vaporization market, he seemingly views many of his main competitors as tobacco companies. Towards that end, in June, PAX Labs announced a $46.7 million funding round. On July 28, the PAX product line announced a partnership with Notre Shop in Chicago, an upscale menswear and lifestyle boutique, just one of many lifestyle stores with which the PAX brand has partnerships. “The very longstanding ritual of tobacco use led through to the Industrial Revolution,” he explains. “After the productization of the tobacco ritual, there was stagnation in technological advancements of that product.” It is history which has sowed the seeds of vaporization adoption, Monsees believes. “Vaporization has received a lot of attention in the last several years,” Monsees notes. “This interest in vaporizer technology comes in part now because of two phenomenon, the confluence of which we see today.” These phenomenon are familiar to the modern consumer. “They are the dawn of the Information Age, in which people are aware of the new technologies available which lie latent,” he said from his San Francisco office. “The other thing is technology; that is, the miniaturization of technology, lithium polymer batteries, and new manufacturing techniques.” All of this has come together to make these new products possible. “That is why you see vaporizer technology becoming so ubiquitous,” Monsees says. https://instagram.com/p/55wEWGH9a0/?taken-by=juulvapor PAX and JUUL stand out from other vaporizer pen brands thanks to quality. Theirs is a luxury product, and that is a categorization with which Monsees is comfortable. “Everything we do in our company in our mind is a luxury product,” he told Hacked. “Neither PAX nor JUUL are products that someone must have.” It is not food we’re selling, nor is it shelter, he says. “It is not at the bottom of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs,” he goes on. “These are things you elect to have that may improve the quality or happiness of your life for people who enjoy these kinds of things.” All of this makes his vaporization products a luxury. “Our culture often talks about luxury goods as ostentatious and out of reach,” he said. “What we want to do is give people a sense of luxury, not just something that gets you by. We want to provide something that is magical and surprises you in how it satisfies what you were looking for.” To Monsees, that is luxury. It is this luxury he wishes to spread across the world. For now, PAX Labs has plans for European markets. “There are going to be a couple markets open certainly before the end of this year, outside of the US and Canada, that we are super excited about.” He expects demand for his product to be consistent worldwide. “There is so much demand from consumers outside of the US, we are excited to get product into their hands and are excited for new cultures and people to join the PAX family,” Monsees said. Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink. Rate this post: Important for improving the service. Please add a comment in the comment field below explaining what you rated and why you gave it that rate. Failed Trade Recommendations should not be rated as that is considered a failure either way. (0 votes, average: 0.00 out of 5)You need to be a registered member to rate this. Loading... Justin OConnell 5 stars on average, based on 1 rated postsJustin O'Connell is the founder of financial technology focused CryptographicAsset.com. Justin organized the launch of the largest Bitcoin ATM hardware and software provider in the world at the historical Hotel del Coronado in southern California. His works appear in the U.S.'s third largest weekly, the San Diego Reader, VICE and elsewhere. Follow @HackedCom Feedback or Requests? Related Topics:e-cigaretteJUULPaxvaporizationvaporizer Up Next Vodafone Admits Employee Hacked Journalist’s Phone Don't Miss What The Internet Thinks Of The New Google Logo You may like Click to comment You must be logged in to post a comment Login Leave a Reply Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment. Business Overstock.com Shares Spike 17% After Chinese Private Equity Firm Pledges $270 Million for tZERO Published 6 days ago on August 10, 2018 By Sam Bourgi The Money Makers Club now has 6 of 15 available seats. Learn more here! Shares of Overstock.com (OSTK) surged in after-hour trading Thursday after a major Chinese equity firm agreed to invest in tZERO, the blockchain subsidiary vying to reshape the investment world through a SEC-regulated alternative trading system (ATS). GSR Capital to Invest Heavily in tZERO CNBC confirmed on Thursday that Hong Kong-based GSR Capital will invest up to $270 million in tZero. The investment is based on a valuation of $1.5 billion, giving GSR an 18% stake in the new blockchain startup. GSR will also buy $30 million worth of tZERO security tokens. “We are honored to have GSR Capital as a strategic investor,” said tZERO CEO Saum Noursalehi in a statement, as quoted by CNBC. “The tokenization of securities has the potential to disrupt global capital markets responsible for moving hundreds of trillions of dollars. Together with our partners, we will globalize our blockchain-based platform, bringing more efficiency, liquidity, and trust to capital markets.” The announcement came less than six weeks after GSR Capital signed a letter of intent with Overstock to purchase $160 million worth of security tokens. Launched in December, tZERO’s initial coin offering (ICO) has raised $134 million to finance its ATS infrastructure, which will provide a regulated venue for securities trading. The company plans to build similar systems around the world. Despite a highly successful crowdraise, documents submitted to the SEC earlier this year revealed a target of $250 million. Independent valuations had placed tZERO’s ICO anywhere between $200 million and $500 million. Overstock.com Spikes Overstock.com’s share price was up by as much as 21% after-hours. It would eventually settle at $45.40 for a gain of 17.6%. As the following chart illustrates, the OSTK price rose 4.5% in regular trading on Thursday to settle at $38.60. Despite the gain, OSTK has been a dismal performer this year. Share prices are down 40% year-to-date, vastly under-performing the Nasdaq Composite Index, which has returned more than 14%. What’s more, the stock is trading at less than half of its 52-week high. Overstock’s share price has been rocked by disappointing quarterly results and the cancellation of a proposed public stock offering. Last March, the company offered four million shares of common stocks before abruptly cancelling those plans. Noursalehi said the decision to pull the offering was due to “market volatility and price.” To be sure, OSTK had declined 20% following the initial announcement to issue common stock. Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading. Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink. Rate this post: Important for improving the service. Please add a comment in the comment field below explaining what you rated and why you gave it that rate. Failed Trade Recommendations should not be rated as that is considered a failure either way. (0 votes, average: 0.00 out of 5)You need to be a registered member to rate this. Loading... Sam Bourgi 4.6 stars on average, based on 547 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he specializes in cryptocurrency, economics and the broader financial markets. Sam has nearly eight years of progressive experience as an analyst, writer and financial market commentator where he has contributed to the world's foremost newscasts. Follow @HackedCom Feedback or Requests? Continue Reading Business A Closer Look at Boerse Stuttgart’s New Cryptocurrency Platform Published 1 week ago on August 6, 2018 By noahsayres The Money Makers Club now has 6 of 15 available seats. Learn more here! The Boerse Stuttgart group has is expanding upon past product launches to create a complete holistic ecosystem for digital assets, including cryptocurrencies. This comes on the heel of them launching the “Bison” app, which allowed users to trade cryptocurrencies with zero fees, similar in functionality to that offered by Robinhood. The difference between Bison and Robinhood, however, is that the Boerse Stuttgart group is the second largest derivatives exchange in Germany. Another unique feature of the Bison app was its “crypto radar” feature. This functions as a social media tool that aggregates more than 250k tweets and analyzes them to determine the “mood” of cryptocurrency investors. Having an existing (and profitable) large financial firm expanding their brand to cryptocurrencies in any capacity reflects a market that is increasingly accepting the reality of institutional capital flowing into crypto markets. The new ecosystem is composed of three distinct pillars. Bison represents the first of these pillars. The second is a branded platform for initial coin offerings to sell tokens. The third is a safe custody solution for digital assets. This ecosystem, in turn, falls within Boerse Stuttgart’s so called “digitization” strategy and should serve as a bellwether of changes to come in financial markets. After all, as an established market player, Boerse Stuttgart Group has extensive knowledge in the fields of technology, regulation, and trading models respectively. According to their own CEO Alexander Höptner, “On this basis, we can offer central services along the value chain for digital assets, all under one roof. Investors and market participants know that Boerse Stuttgart Group stands for quality, transparency, and reliability. As a Germany-based provider, we want to transpose this standard into the digital world. We will help to promote acceptance of digital assets.” The key to their ambitions focuses on solving two major problems. The first is that KYC procedures tend to be overly complex for average investors, as well as time-consuming. The Boerse Stuttgart group’s own KYC solution allows traders to pass KYC and start trading within minutes, as opposed to more typical solutions that take a few days. The second issue they are tackling the liquidity and accessibility of ICO tokens post-sale. They solve this by allowing tokens launched through their platform to be traded within their broader ecosystem using Bison. According again to the CEO, “At the trading venue tokens issued via our ICO platform can be traded on the secondary market. This is an important success factor for ICOs. At the same time, we are responding to demand from both retail and institutional investors for a regulated and reliable environment for trading with cryptocurrencies. Furthermore, established cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum will also be traded.” This approach will likely serve to establish the Boerse Stuttgart group a prime recipient of crypto-intrigued institutional capital. After all, the early bird gets the worm. A key component of this future success also rests on how well they partner with authorities. This exact point was also emphasized recently by the CEO, who said, “In designing the strategic projects we closely cooperate with all competent boards and committees, and especially with the supervisory authorities.” While it remains to be seen whether retail investors make use of this ecosystem, it seems reasonable to assume that larger investors will flock to a simple crypto-specific ecosystem backed by an old guard stalwart of finance. Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink. Rate this post: Important for improving the service. Please add a comment in the comment field below explaining what you rated and why you gave it that rate. Failed Trade Recommendations should not be rated as that is considered a failure either way. (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)You need to be a registered member to rate this. Loading... noahsayres 4.8 stars on average, based on 15 rated posts Follow @HackedCom Feedback or Requests? Continue Reading Altcoins MasterCard Could Be Your Best Friend Published 2 weeks ago on August 4, 2018 By James Waggoner The Money Makers Club now has 6 of 15 available seats. Learn more here! Since just after the financial crisis, I have been searching for a way to beat MasterCard and Visa at their own game. These two brands dominate the business of processing debit and credit card transactions. I have always considered this duopoly as the enemy of mankind, but could turn out to be a hasty judgement. MasterCard and Visa don’t actually process transactions as much as they offer an electronic network and charge fees for the use of their name. They collect about 0.11% per card swipe which ain’t much until you consider they are running more than 150,000 transactions per minute through their network. Pretty nice business to be in. All together, the two will generate about $30 billion this year. The problem with both of these guys is that it is impossible to get around them. If you buy something anywhere in the world with a debit or credit card, it is almost guaranteed to run on either the Visa or MasterCard network. In which case, in addition to the 0.11% taken out for the network, the store that accepts your purchase pays anywhere from 3% to often as much as 5% in total for processing fees. And if you travel abroad and charge something, well forget about it. Everywhere along the network are intermediaries taking their nick of your wallet. When foreign currency transaction fees are taken into account, that is where more intermediaries are included. That is where the costs add much higher and that is often where the consumer is hurt most. Fighting Back The whole idea behind blockchain technology is to make transactions of all types fast with little or no dependency on intermediaries. All this makes MasterCard and Visa the enemy of cryptocurrency developers. But neither of these brands are sitting still applying for patents on blockchain based payments methods. The natural reaction is to sell to sell your crypto and find some easier way to earn a decent return. We disagree: we think there is crypto to be made from MasterCards strategy. Here is why you should be encouraged. ome time back, MasterCard applied for a patent on blockchain technology that created a link between crypto and fiat currencies. MasterCard is not alone, as there are any number of crypto projects with the same idea. Recently we looked at TenX and there are others. Using TenX for comparison, MasterCard’s recently awarded patent offers to convert crypto to fiat using the existing MasterCard network. TenX and many others plan either create their own high speed mainnet or use the Ethereum platform. In head to head competition, this gives MasterCard a sizable advantage since MC is pretty much accepted by merchants everywhere. As much as I hate the duopoly represented my MC and Visa, right now they could turn out to be the best thing to happen for one simple reason. They will unquestionable accelerate mass acceptance of crypto. Their existing network and transaction speed, immediately solves the lingering Bitcoin/Ethereum issue of scalability. In addition as observers have pointed out, both MC and Visa have had systems in place to identify fraudulent transactions. Having said all of this, is MasterCard going to kill all other crypto payment wanabys like TenX and others? Before concluding the answer is yes, consider this. In their recently released quarterly review to shareholders, MasterCard reported net income of $2.33 billion on revenue of $5.24 billion. That is a whopping profit margin of 44.5%! This towers over extraordinarily profitable companies like Apple at 20.3% or the average US corporation at less than 10%. When MasterCard’s blockchain system goes into use, it will plump up those already MC margins. So, as a crypto investor, you have to ask yourself, do you actually think that MC will pass on those savings or wallow in the cost savings? The answer is pretty obvious. MasterCard Could Be The Best News Crypto naysayers are the first to deny that Bitcoin and others are a legitimate medium of exchange. This is based largely on the limited number of mainstream merchants that are in the crypto loop. MasterCard could help take crypto mainstream and that would be a good thing for major names like Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash and Ether. And with the payments processing business dealing in over $50 trillion in transactions annually, there will be room for startups offering high speed scalability at lower cost. It will not happen this year but it will happen. Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink. Rate this post: Important for improving the service. Please add a comment in the comment field below explaining what you rated and why you gave it that rate. Failed Trade Recommendations should not be rated as that is considered a failure either way. (1 votes, average: 1.00 out of 5)You need to be a registered member to rate this. Loading... James Waggoner 4.4 stars on average, based on 96 rated postsJames Waggoner is a veteran Wall Street analyst and hedge fund manager who has spent the past few years researching the fintech possibilities of cryptocurrencies. He has a special passion for writing about the future of crypto. Follow @HackedCom Feedback or Requests? Continue Reading 5 of 15 Seats Available Learn more here. Recent Commentsfractalogic on Bankers and Bitcoinfractalogic on Augur (REP) Backtracks to 16-Month Lows; Aurora (AOA) Falls Awayjhmblvd on Crypto Update: Altcoin Crash Continues, Ethereum Hits $250 as Bitcoin Holds UpSholaO on 2018: Year of the Crypto Fundridge195 on Crypto Update: Altcoin Crash Continues, Ethereum Hits $250 as Bitcoin Holds Up Why Investors Should Pay Attention to OmiseGO Ethereum Price Rebounds from 14-Month Low; Long-Te... Bankers and Bitcoin Crypto Update: Market Surges 10% but Downtrend Sti... 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