Guide to BitcoinEverything you need to know about the currencies revolution
Bitcoin is currently being used all over the world for many different reasons. First and foremost, the fee for each transaction it’s decided by you, because a payment processor is not required. This puts Bitcoin a step above your average credit card transaction. Next, because Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer payment network, there is no central organization or person controlling the network. This means Bitcoin can be used globally, without problems that traditionally plague old-fashioned types of currencies. Lastly, using Bitcoin is simply one of the quickest and easiest ways of making an online payment, and it doesn’t require any of your personal information.
Vancouver is arguably the Bitcoin capital of Canada. Indeed, you might have noticed one of those “Bitcoin accepted here” signs at a business or two in your neighbourhood.
If you’re new to Bitcoin read more about it below.
What is a Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is a form of crypto-currency, or digital money. It is the first peer-to-peer payment network that is decentralized and truly borderless, allowing anyone to transfer money to another person without a third party. It was introduced in 2009 and is now used by millions of people all over the world.
What do I need?
First you’re gonna need to setup an Electronic Bitcoin Wallet to save your bitcoins. Without a Bitcoin wallet, you can’t send or receive Bitcoin payments. So before you get bitcoins, you’ll need to buy, download, or create a bitcoin wallet. There are many electronic bitcoin wallets you can download; we like one called Mycelium which is a mobile app for your device that creates automatically your Bitcoin account and address /QR Code so you can start trading. It’s available for Android and IOS, is quite secure and the fees to transfer bitcoin in and out are minimal. Here’s how it looks as soon as you install it on your device.
Once you have your Bitcoin address/QR Code for your personal wallet you’re ready to go!
Due to the fluctuation that Bitcoin may experiment just like any other currency we also like to recommend CoinPayments. They are an integrated payment gateway for cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and many others where you can create your personal wallet, deposit bitcoins and exchange them at your convenience into the corresponding USD price for bitcoin (or even other cryptos) on that day and then change it back to Bitcoin anytime!
How do I get Bitcoin?
There are different ways of obtaining bitcoins, such as accepting them as a form of payment for a good or service you provide directly in your personal electronic wallet like the one we previously reviewed. You can also buy them from a friend, buy them direct from an exchange using your bank account or trading with a private Bitcoin broker. To receive bitcoins, choose a receiving address from your wallet, provide it to the other party or send them your Bitcoin address QR Code and wait for them to send payment.
The following Canadian exchanges are recommended in order that they can setup your e-wallet and load it so you can start purchasing:
If you would rather buy a Bitcoin in person you can visit one of the several Bitcoin ATM locations found in Vancouver and surrounding areas. Please visit https://www.fastrackbtc.ca in order to know how to buy and sale Bitcoins using ATM and search your closest bitcoin ATM location by address.
Purchase Bitcoins in-store is an option too. Netcoins turns any computer, tablet or mobile device into a virtual Bitcoin ATM and also sell Prepaid Codes to Redeem online on their site. They sell Bitcoin in 7,000 stores Nationwide.
Another option is to use a service like LocalBitcoins where you can register and buy safely bitcoins from people at your own city, the website creates the wallet for you at It’s own domain and after you complete the payment in CAD through the website the seller will deposit your bitcoins . It allows you to buy Bitcoins from other people with cash similar to craigslist.
Bitcoiniacs were the world’s first physical Bitcoin exchange, and they are now taking Canadian’s Bitcoin exchange expertise around the globe. With a tremendously successful Bitcoin ATM launch at Waves Coffee in Vancouver, and then their latest one in West Vancouver, they are revolutionizing the way people buy and sell bitcoins. Please check their website for instructions and locations nationwide.
Once I have My E-Wallet with Bitcoin Balance available, how do I purchase?
You can send bitcoins to anybody just by clicking ‘send’ in your wallet and adding their address and the amount of bitcoin you want to send. Copy and paste the address, both to make it easier on yourself and to avoid mistakes. This is how a bitcoin address looks like:
An even easier way to do this without having to copy and paste is to scan a ‘QR Code’ with your wallet. This is particularly handy when you are using a phone, and can be used to pay for things online or at physical stores. Scanning a code is very simply, you just open the scanner in your wallet and point your device’s camera at it, and will tell your wallet where to send the money and how much to send – so all you need to do is to check the info is correct and then click to confirm and send. If you don’t know how much bitcoin corresponds to the amount of money you need to send in CAD you can always use an online currency converter service like www.xe.com so you know exactly how much Bitcoin corresponds to your purchase and then you can confirm it with the seller.
Is it Safe?
Bitcoin allows you to transfer funds in an easy manner and provides high levels of security when used correctly. Just like with physical money, steps should be taken to secure your funds. If you use a wallet, this includes regularly backing up your wallet to ensure all recent Bitcoin addresses you create are saved. It is also important to encrypt your wallet or your smartphone by setting a password whenever you attempt to withdraw funds.
All Bitcoin transactions are stored publicly on the network, so anyone can see the balance and transaction of any Bitcoin address. Your identity behind an address remains anonymous until the information is revealed during a transaction; therefore, it is not recommended to use the same Bitcoin addresses repeatedly.
Bitcoin transactions are not secure if they are unconfirmed. Each transaction has a confirmation score that tells you how hard it is to reverse them. On average, a confirmation will take about 10 minutes. If a transaction is atypical or has too low a fee, the confirmation can take much longer. The higher the confirmation score, the more reliable it is.
Overall, Bitcoin is a new currency that is dynamic and still developing. Measures are in place to ensure Bitcoin is a safe, reliable way to exchange money; however, it is important that you take the time to inform yourself of the pros and cons of Bitcoin. It is also your responsibility to maintain good practices in order to protect your money.