Bitcoin, the cryptography digital currency, has popped up on Canadian soil over the past number of months. Bitcoin ATMs, or otherwise known as BTMs, arrived in Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver and have successfully transferred millions worth of dollars.
While the ‘currency’ is still new and met with a tremendous amount of skepticism, Michael Perklin, director of Bitcoin Alliance of Canada, recently stated that “Bitcoin is unlike anything that came before it. It is the most popular digital crypto-currency today with some properties similar to stocks and bonds, gold and Canadian dollar. The unit fluctuates in price and can zip around from one person to another – like cash teleported. It can be given to someone immediately and can’t be reversed. But the true value of Bitcoin is in the extremely resilient distributed network, where payments get processed and verified. Unlike a wire transfer, there’s no bank and nobody like PayPal or Visa in the middle to charge you a big fee.”
The Canadian government doesn’t recognize it as legal tender, saying that “only Canadian bank notes and coins are recognized as legal tender in Canada. Bitcoin digital ‘currency’ is not legal tender in Canada.”
Today, with the unveiling of the federal budget, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty declared that “The Government will introduce legislative amendments to strengthen Canada’s anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing regime.” Flaherty wants to keep Canada strong and said the government will continue “to address emerging risks, including virtual currencies, such as Bitcoin, that threaten Canada’s international leadership in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing.”
This is a bold statement and for the four active Bitcoin ATMs it surely will be of interest.
Source: Gov’t of Canada