Bitcoin in Canada: How We Helped Bitcoin Grow

Feature photo "One BTC coins" (CC BY-SA 2.0) by zcopley

Since March, Bitcoin has risen in value by over 72% and has even become more valuable than gold. This is most probably due to the fact that Japan recently legalised the cryptocurrency, which has had a huge impact on stocks and exchanges around the world. With so many unprecedented events taking place in the world of cryptocurrencies, it's easy to forget that our humble nation of Canada actually played a huge role in the rise of Bitcoin. However, before we get to that let's take a look at what Bitcoin actually is.

What Is Bitcoin?

It is thought that the mysterious programmer Satoshi Nakamoto created Bitcoin. However, apart from this name, nothing is known about this person's identity. In May 2016, Australian entrepreneur Craig Wright claimed to be the creator of Bitcoin, but that is generally regarded as untrue. While many countries regard Bitcoin as legal tender equivalent to dollars or euros, the cryptocurrency is different, as it exists solely as a series of number and letter strings readable by computers with no notes or coin counterparts. Additionally, Bitcoin is not controlled by central banks or governments, and is instead able to be used because of a complex digital ledger otherwise known as the blockchain.

The blockhain is made up of decentralized blocks which are extremely difficult to hack, which means that all transactions and wallets – the location where users store their Bitcoins – are almost completely secure. In fact, the author of Bitcoin The Expert Guide, Thomas A. Meyers claims it would take over a million years to hack the blockchain. Furthermore, as the currency exists online is it also far quicker and simpler to make transfers, with no transactions fees, no administration time and no intermediary, even if you want to transfer Bitcoin across borders.

Needless to say, there are multiple advantages to using Bitcoin so it is no surprise that so many companies have adopted it as a payment method. Massive brands including Subway, Expedia and Microsoft all accept Bitcoin in exchange for good and services. Of course, since Bitcoin was originally used online, there are also plenty of iGaming sites that utilize Bitcoin. In fact, the world’s first licensed online Bitcoin casino, BitCasino, deals solely in Bitcoin in offering games such as lotteries, slots and live poker games.

So, what does Canada have to do with this cryptocurrency phenomenon?

Bitcoin In Canada

As the world’s most popular digital currency, Bitcoin has become a legitimate payment method in many different countries including Canada. In fact, we were the first country in the world to host a Bitcoin ATM machine.

Avid users of the cryptocurrency will surely remember October 2013, when Robocoin and Bitcoiniacs launched the world’s first-ever Bitcoin ATM in Vancouver, British Columbia. Located in a downtown coffee shop, this ATM enabled users to sell and purchase Bitcoin with ease, just like more traditional currencies. This was a particularly large step for Canada regarding the adoption of FinTech as we had just dropped the penny the year before. Of course, the new machine had to comply with Canadian laws and used palm prints, photographs and ID as verification before allowing customers to withdraw or deposit.

Four years later, there are 161 Bitcoin ATM machines available throughout Canada – and many more around the globe. A total of six are available in Ottawa alone, at Domestic Foods, Pronto Foodmart, Remac, Ottawa South Groceteria, Kebab Prince and Hasty Market. While we may not have created the Bitcoin phenomenon single-handedly, there’s no denying that Canada helped the cryptocurrency grow. We think we should all be pretty proud of that!