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Bitcoin vs Assets

Bitcoin Alerts


Bitcoin to CAD

Canada is moving towards a cashless society following the trails of leading economies like Sweden, Denmark and Norway.

Even though the usage of cash in Canada is starting to decline, it is not going at a fast pace. There are still many retailers where consumers are used to paying with cash, rather than cards or mobile payments.

According to data published by payment processing and financial firm Moneris, nearly 77% of individuals who participated in a survey preferred to settle payments and purchases using credit cards, debit cards and alternative financial platforms such as Paypal, instead of cash.

As per Moneris, the emergence of various online and mobile payments solutions encouraged many customers and institutional clients to adopt to digitized payments.

I think we’re at a point where you don’t need cash for most of what you need to do today,said Moneris chief product and marketing officer Rob Cameron.

I do think people will continue to use cash because it’s been around so long…. But this growth in contactless (payments using credit cards or mobile apps) I think is going to lead towards that end of cash.

This digitization of payments and increasing interest of people towards electronic payment systems has opened opportunities for Bitcoin, which enables anyone to transact or settle payments, with much lower fees.

Bitcoin in Canada

Canadians are slowly warming up to the usage of Bitcoin. Two years ago, in 2015, when several Bitcoin exchanges in Canada had shut down, a report titled Canadian Payments Forecast – 2016, showed how usage of Bitcoin has doubled in Canada throughout 2015.

Cointrader closed its doors after alleged hack, CaVirtex was acquired by Kraken, and Vault of Satoshi had to shut down as well due to profitability issues.

Contactless and online payments in Canada are booming. The report indicates the growth of contactless payments increased by as much as CAD 30 billion last year. Contrary to most other countries in the world, five in six people with access to contactless payments in Canada use the option whenever they can.

According to the Canadian Press, participants in the Toronto Region Board of Trade panel are extremely optimistic in digitalized payments and cashless economy.

Many experts including MasterCard Canada head of market development Wendy Braithwaite believes that electronic payments systems have become an important foundation of the Canadian economy, which it cannot live without.

A lot of what you see happening in the marketplace today is … (enhancing) the consumer experience — so reward them in a way that matters, really targeted offers,” said Wendy Braithwaite, head of dress market development at MasterCard Canada.

I think that without being part of the electronic payments system, small merchants miss that.

This just goes to show that there is demand of frictionless payment options in Canada, which is what Bitcoin has to offer, and at much cheaper rates than credit/debit cards.

Bank of Canada wants to regulate Bitcoin

A new research conducted by Bank of Canada called “Canadian Bank Notes and Dominion Notes: Lessons for Digital Currencies” concluded that Bitcoin and other digital currencies need regulation in order to succeed long term.

The researchers took a close look at how Bitcoin can evolve overtime and they feel cryptocurrencies need regulation to be “safe”.

To put this in perspective, Bank of Canada took a skewed approach to begin with. The researchers examined the period in Canada when private bank notes and government issued notes were in circulation at the same time in 1800s. That is quite an intriguing comparison to Bitcoin, even though the number of similarities are very limited.

The researchers made a fundamental error in studying and evaluating Bitcoin when they considered Bitcoin as a “private digital currency”. The Bitcoin network is an open peer-to-peer protocol where there is no central authority or governing entity. Looking at Bitcoin as a centralized and private network is a severely flawed technical perspective.

Unlike actual “private digital currencies” like Blockchain tokens being developed by leading banks and financial institutions, the Bitcoin network is maintained by miners across the globe who contribute computing power to verify transactions and developers within an open source development ecosystem wherein anyone can contribute to the development of Bitcoin.

Simply put, Bitcoin is not issued by a private bank and there is no central authority to control it.

The paper also looks at different angles regarding the future of Bitcoin. They show concern of having both cryptocurrencies and government issued notes in circulation at the same time. It isn’t practical to compare a cryptocurrency to private bank notes, even when there are minor similarities.

A few countries have already started regulation Bitcoin. Japan being the latest one classifying Bitcoin as a legal payment method. Following this major decision, Bitcoin could soon be accepted at 260,000 Stores in Japan.

While the world is moving towards the adoption of Bitcoin, it seems Bank of Canada is going backwards. According to the report, without regulation Bitcoin has less chance of survival. But then again, as mentioned earlier, Bitcoin cannot be regulated by any person or government.

However, only the companies that act as a custodian for funds related to bitcoin activity can be regulated. But that is not even close to regulating Bitcoin – far from it. Cryptocurrencies are not designed to behave like traditional currencies and hence cannot be regulated as such.

The most interesting concern the report raises is the risk of counterfeit Bitcoins. As any person who has been involved with Bitcoin would tell you that it is perhaps the only currency immune to counterfeiting. It is possible to execute a double-spend attack, but that is not financially viable.

Counterfeiting Bitcoins is impossible. Period.

Furthermore, the report also finds it impractical that Bitcoin is not inflationary currency. Bitcoin has a fixed supply of 21 million coins and there is no reason to change it. It is something bankers and federal reserves aren’t used to. They print money out of thin air whenever they see fit. Not being inflationary is one of Bitcoin’s primary selling points.

In their closing remarks, the report’s authors said –

We conclude that well designed and managed private digital currencies could circulate widely but only with appropriate government regulation to ensure their safety, soundness, and uniformity”.

Canada’s own digital currency

The above report follows the work within the Canadian central bank on a prototype system for issuing a central bank-backed digital currency known as Project Jasper.

The central bank has been rigorously studying digital currencies and has tested the prototype. The bank’s Senior Deputy Governor, Carolyn Wilkins, said last summer that the ‘Project Jasper’ involved a network of Canadian banks and the blockchain consortium R3.

According to her, Bitcoin is viewed more of a commodity rather than a money itself despite the fact that this was the currency that provided the building blocks for the Bank of Canada to develop its Cad-Coin (code named Project Jasper).

The developers of Jasper want to offer an impression to the general public that centralized Blockchain networks demonstrate no difference to decentralized networks like Bitcoin.

Besides, the global Bitcoin market has already evolved to a point where most users and people have developed an awareness of Bitcoin as a decentralized currency and open network.

The white paper released by the Bank of Canada also read:

Government issued digital currency will not drive out existing private digital currencies, and government intervention will be required for privately issued and government-issued digital currencies to be a uniform currency.

A central bank can always get its digital currency into circulation, but its digital currency will not necessarily drive out existing private digital currencies,” the authors added.

Overall, the Bank of Canada has gained a better understanding of how the private sector might interact with such a system.

There were a lot of things learned with respect to scalability, consensus mechanisms, legal issues, data privacy and transparency, as well as cybersecurity.

The Jasper experiment also helped the bank understand some other important insights that will be relevant to the use case for this type of Distributed Ledger Technology application:

1. Most cost savings appear unlikely to come in the core system itself, but rather more likely through reducing bank reconciliation efforts. The initial design is quite collateral intensive while the current system is already highly efficient.

2. There’s the potential for more savings if other applications could be built on top of a core cash payment distributed ledger system (eg financial asset clearing and settlement, trade finance).

3. In an actual production system, trade-offs will need to be resolved between how widely data and transactions are verified by members of the system, and how widely information is shared.

4. While DLT may aim to reduce concentration of risk, a substantial amount of centralization would still be required (eg permissioning of nodes and setting of operational standards) if applied to wholesale payments systems.

Bitcoin doesn’t need regulation. Here’s why.

The very reason why Bitcoin has become so popular and its whole point of existence is down to the fact that it is an unregulated and decentralized currency.

It doesn’t need regulation to survive and prosper. Even if anyone tried to regulate it, the underlying technology behind Bitcoin (blockchain) is as such that it’d be impossible to do so.

Central authorities of Chinese government chose to regulate Bitcoin because they prefer to oversee the Bitcoin market rather than having it operate in underground markets that are significantly more difficult to regulate.

It is only because of regulations that the companies operating within the Bitcoin industry such as Bitcoin exchanges, service providers and development firms are struggling. For instance, if you’re a Bitcoin startup in New York you will need an expensive license to operate.

Regulators can’t simply apply banking industry standards to small technology startups. It will not lead to positive outcomes.

Know your customer (KYC) and Anti-money laundering (AML) policies are also impractical for Bitcoin exchanges to comply with, as exchanges are pressured to transform their infrastructures into a centralized architecture in order to meet the demands of central authorities.

If authorities keep trying to implement different regulations around Bitcoin exchanges, traders will move on to LocalBitcoins, a peer-to-peer trading platform wherein people directly trade Bitcoin without the presence of a third party service provider or mediator.

The fact that Bank of Canada believes that Bitcoin needs direct government regulation for it to flourish is unlikely to happen anytime soon. Not just that, even the bank issued digital currency CAD-Coin can never stop the rise of Bitcoin.

Bitcoin Monetary Standard Wouldn’t Last Long – Bank of Canada

Bank of Canada examined how a Bitcoin standard would perform based on the performance of a gold standard that existed from 1880 to 1913.

The gold standard was a monetary system in which nations’ currencies were tied to gold.

The paper is published by Warren E. Weber, research consultant at the Bank of Canada, visiting scholar for the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, and adjunct professor at the University of South Carolina.

It claims that due to no arbitrage costs for global transactions under a bitcoin standard, nations would not be able to follow independent interest rate policies. Central banks would retain limited ability to serve as last-resort lenders.

A Bitcoin standard would have two key benefits over fiat currency. One is there would be more price level predictability on account of the deterministic rate by which the cryptocurrency is created. Second is that resources devoted to hedging against exchange rate fluctuations would be free to use in more productive ways.

The paper claims currency under a bitcoin standard would have mild deflation and constant exchange rates, based on the classic gold standard period from 1880 to 1913.

In order to achieve exchange rate stability countries adopted the gold standard. Stability was achieved through gold arbitrage.

But because gold arbitrage incurred costs, exchange rates between different countries’ fiduciary currencies were not fixed but were limited to a range around their par values.

The paper asserts that Bitcoin would mimic gold. The Bitcoin standard would be similar to the gold standard. It would not be in the control of a monetary authority or a central bank.

The changes in the bitcoin supply would be determined by the algorithm governing the number of new bitcoins miners receive for verifying transactions and adding them to the bitcoin blockchain.

Three distinct exchange media existed under the gold standard, three exchange media would exist under the bitcoin standard, namely; fiduciary currencies issued by central banks, bitcoin, and fiduciary currencies (deposits or bank notes) commercial banks issue.

Clearly, the scope of monetary policy would be more limited than under a gold standard. The capability of issuing fiduciary currency would provide central banks limited ability to serve as last-resort lenders.

That said, the costless arbitrage of the cryptocurrency would prevent central banks from implementing interest rate policies to impact nations’ economies.

There are many lessons that can be learned from gold that could potentially apply to Bitcoin in the future:

1. Long-term, deflation would be moderate and would grow over time until a deflation rate equal to the negative of the rate of growth of global output around 2016.

2. Price levels of countries would be highly, though not perfectly, correlated, similar to how they were under the gold standard.

3. The exchange rates among fiduciary currencies of countries would remain fixed at par since the cost of Bitcoin arbitrage is essentially zero.

4. Financial crises would still occur since they can happen under any fractional reserve financial system.

Interestingly, the paper also assumes how long the Bitcoin standard would last if it came into existence.

The only way Bitcoin standard would come into existence if the cryptocurrency becomes the predominant medium of exchange or the backing for the predominant medium of exchange.

The paper argues even if the Bitcoin standard became a reality, it would not last long. The payments industry is changing so fast that technological innovation would provide a medium of exchange with benefits similar to or better than the cryptocurrency.

This sort of innovation would come from either the government or the private sector.

Warren does not think it likely a bitcoin standard would emerge since central banks and governments would oppose it. These parties want to protect the seigniorage revenues from creating money.

Bitcoin Volatility Prediction

Researchers at the Bank of Canada have developed a model to predict the volatility of Bitcoin and other altcoins.

As mentioned earlier, Canada has been slower in adoption of Bitcoin as compared to other countries moving towards a cashless economy. The volatile nature of Bitcoin is one of the reasons for slower adoption. People are worried about the possibility of Bitcoin price going down overnight resulting in huge loses.

While volatility is the reason why people like to stay away from using Bitcoin, the volatility itself is directly correlated with its usage. A recent paper published by the Bank of Canada explains the correlation in detail.

The research paper titled “On the Value of Virtual Currency”, includes a theoretical framework that can be used to analyze various economic factors influencing the value of Bitcoin and other digital currencies. This framework disapproves the popular n otion that Bitcoin can never become mainstream currency due to its volatility.

The report talks about cryptocurrencies and their benefits for both individuals and merchants. These benefits, which includes fast and economical transactions, cross-border payments, privacy and anonymity are considered to be the driving factors behind adoption.
As per the report, an increased usage of Bitcoin among the masses for transactions, payments, shopping, trading etc., will reduce its sensitivity to speculations and liquidity in digital currency exchanges.

The proposed model by the Bank of Canada includes two building blocks. One based on a two-sided market theory for identifying factors influencing the use of Bitcoin in payments and other on the behavior of speculators.

Researchers concluded that during the initial phase, the digital currency’s value is expected to soar due to speculative motives.

Volatile nature of the currency is attributed to the early development phase, which will continue until the rate of adoption among merchants and consumers increase.

Bitcoin Ponzi Schemes

The increasing reports of Bitcoin frauds in Canada have forced the police department to issue a warning.

According to a notice, the Durham Regional Police have been receiving a growing number of reports by Durham residents about fraudulent schemes based on Bitcoin. Many Canadians were approached by fraudsters after they responded to few listed job openings and advertisements.

The report also described the fraudsters giving cheques to victims and asking them to use that money to buy bitcoin. Once the user deposits the cheque into their account, buys the digital currency with own money and transfers it to the fraudster, the cheque or e-transfer sent to the user bounces, leaving them no money.

Another scenario involves scammers posing as the employees of the Canada Revenue Agency who ask for income tax payments in Bitcoin.

Victims to such scams have lost thousands of dollars so far.

An excerpt from the public warning said:

Residents have reported being contacted by fraudsters after applying for jobs or responding to ads online involving a promise to make money. The fraudsters send cheques to the victims and ask them to use the money to purchase Bitcoins–a virtual currency used globally.

The Durham Region Police Department urged the residents to come forward and report the fraud if they have lost money to such scams.

Such scams are not limited to Canada alone. There have been numerous reports from India and the US on Bitcoin related scams. The tax season also gets the scammers going, as people won’t find a communication from the “taxman” unusual.

In India, fraudsters are targeting consumers en masse, using Bitcoin as a means of illicit financial benefit.

The issue of multi-level marketing schemes is a global problem; however, these are now gaining traction in India owing to a lack of governing guidelines and the rapid rise in the value of […] crypto-currency,” a report quotes local industry body Blockchain Foundation of India.

It is advised for people to not buy Bitcoin on others’ behalf and be extremely wary of attractive cryptocurrency investment options that promise unrealistic rewards. Such schemes are usually ponzi schemes. There is a saying in our Bitcoin community, “If it’s too good to be true, it’s probably a scam”.

Canada showing signs of recession

Recession is looming around Canada. It looks like the country’s economy is on the brink of unravelling, especially the real estate market. Could this be good for Bitcoin? Perhaps.

Canada’s real estate market has officially entered a bubble, which can burst at any time in the next few months. Other parts of the economy aren’t doing that well either. Justin Trudeau has a challenging future ahead.

Real estate (selling, managing, renting, and leasing) is the largest segment of the Canadian economy, accounting for 13% of GDP. In 2015, real estate was the largest contributor to GDP in seven of 10 provinces.

While the economy tanks, Canadians are taking record amounts of debt and the jobless rate is continuing to hover around 7%.

2017 might not be the best year for Canada. Experts believe Bank of Canada will cut interest rates again in the first half of 2017. This runs counter to what is happening in the U.S., where the economy, while fragile, is nowhere near the state of the Canadian economy.

A recent video released by the Bank of Canada explains different ways in which the Canadian economy could implode. The biggest two triggers are household debt and the housing bubble.

To put things in perspective, when adjusted for inflation, Canada’s household debt to GDP ratio (at 165.2%) is just 0.6% shy of the 2007 peak in the U.S. (165.8%).

It is clear that sooner or later Canada’s economy is going to dive. This may explain why Canadians are increasingly showing interest in Bitcoin lately.

Bank of Canada is facing prosecution

To add fuel to the fire, The Bank of Canada, Canadian ministers and the Crown (England) are facing prosecution for crashing the Canadian economy.

The Committee on Monetary and Economic Reform (COMER) has put forward that the attorney general, the finance minister, and minister of national revenue have purposefully colluding with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Financial Stability Board (FSB) and the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) to rob the Country of Canada.

The suit alleges that the BoC virtually stopped providing these loans at the behest of the IMF, BIS, and FSB so private interests could benefit, presumably from interest paid on the national debt. Canada’s national debt rose significantly in the years that immediately followed.

This is where cryptocurrencies come in. It has the power to disable the corruption at the higher level, whether it be banks or governments.

The countries can, and are brought to their knees not by war, but by economic control and starvation. This harm can be avoided in the future if we adopt cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Blockchain technology.

The underlying feature of Blockchain will let citizens see what their governments are doing, or more precisely, what bad actors within your government are doing.

The BoC was providing loans to its government, without interest, as it helped finance Canada’s war effort in World War II. Refusing to provide these loans has meant that the government of Canada has had to rely on other sources of private financing to service its debts.

These other sources have come with interest, and for a government, that interest can be rather significant.

The Bank of Canada is named in a lawsuit that has survived two attempts to have it thrown from court. The suit alleges the Bank is conspiring with the IMF and others to force the Canadian government to go to private markets to borrow money.

There is a worry of double spending in the Cryptocurrency sector. It means that a user can spend the same coins twice, or more. If you can double spend digital currency, then, of course that particular system is broken. As it would likely cause hyperinflation and make the coins in that system worthless if the same coins can repeatedly used in this manner.

That being said, the reason why Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency (in general) has been so successful, is because it brings a solution to the double-spending problem.

The only fault is from the potential, and very costly, 51% attack, which is not as bad as some would have you believe.

However, Central banks, on the other hand, use double spending as a matter of standard practice.

When someone takes out a mortgage, the borrowed money does not come from someone else’s savings. Instead, the money is created in that instant through the trick of double entry bookkeeping.

The bank records the loan on one side as a liability, and the debt owed to the bank as an asset. As long as the two balance out, the system works pretty well.

As long as everyone pays their loans, the systems works pretty well and basically creates wealth out of thin air.” Hypocritical much?

This debacle gives Canadians all the more reasons to look at Bitcoin as an alternate currency for the future.

Increase in Bitcoin demand

The Bank of International Settlements released a new quarterly report that does not bode well for Canada. With the national debt-to-GDP ratio growing larger every quarter, economic trouble seems inevitable.

Canadians can only cope with these vulnerabilities for a period of time. If the country enters recession it would lead to a big increase in unemployment, which, as we saw in the U.S. during the Great Recession, would cobble households burdened by big debt loads. Canadian households would start to default on their loan and banks would foreclose on their properties.

The vast majority of consumer debt held by Canadians is locked up in mortgages. No one can say for sure what the future holds for Canada. A recession seems to be the most likely outcome, which could send the economy in a sharp downward spiral.

There is high chance this would lead to Canadians getting more interested in Bitcoin. We have seen this in the past. When a country’s economy goes down, in case of Venezuela and Greece, citizens look to bet on assets. Bitcoin being the best option in that regard.

Fitech Funding Growing in Canada

Despite slow growth in other nations and recession in sight, FinTech funding in Canada reached an all-time high last year in twenty years.

According to PitchBook, which is used by the U.S.-based National Venture Capital Association, funding in the sector in Canada reached $137.7 million last year compared to $21.8 million five years ago and just $7.3 million in 2000.

The FinTech industry has done a great job at positioning Canada high up on the global scale,” said Gerald Cotten, CEO of Canadian Bitcoin exchange Quadriga.CA.

Bank of Canada is heavily betting on the potential of FinTech as it can help to ensure a smooth evolution to tomorrow’s financial system.

Notably, Carolyn Wilkins, the Bank of Canada’s senior deputy governor, said that blockchain technology could help reduce the time it takes to clear and settle syndicated loans and save up to $20 billion a year in back-office expenses.

Canada’s bullish nature towards FinTech could also help Bitcoin adoption in the country.

As per the figures from Thomson Reuters, venture capital investment in Canadian companies continued in the first three quarters of 2016. From January to September a total of $2.5 billion was invested in 446 deals.

Yet, Canada still falls behind other nations in FinTech race.

The MARS Discovery District claims $6.8 billion was invested in fintech in 2014. Most of it going to New York and London. But Toronto also attracted a fair share of investments as it is considered the 9th largest fintech city in the world with hundreds of thousands of employees.

Vancouver seems to have the most number of Bitcoin enthusiasts, as evident by the number of Bitcoin ATMs in the city (21). In 2017, the FinTech industry in Canada is expected to continue its upward trend.

Scotiabank Completes Blockchain Trial

AlphaPoint, a fintech company specializing in blockchain technology has completed a successful proof of technology with Scotiabank, an international bank headquartered in Toronto, Canada.

The AlphaPoint Distributed Ledger Platform (ADLP), which was deployed over a multi-month project, allows for the digitizing of assets, creation of trade venues, and the managing of pre- and post-trade workflows.

Scotiabank explored and evaluated how the ADLP could be leveraged internally across a range of use cases. During the trial, the ADLP was deployed on both Microsoft Azure and AlphaPoint’s own hardware.

In real-time, the blockchain network converted FIXML messages to smart contracts and created an immutable “single truth” across the entire network.

The Financial Information eXchange (FIX) is an industry protocol used for communicating securities information in specific electronic messages. This includes information such as getting quotes, market data and trade orders.

The ALDP was first announced in late 2015 and since then the company has been in the ‘stealth mode’. AlphaPoint currently has 14 other customers at various stages of testing and using the platform.

We have to be a little bit sensitive in terms of specific use cases in the trial specific to Scotiabank,” said Igor Telyatnikov, the startup’s president and COO. “We have two other major announcements that will be announced in the coming month, including a production launch with a systemically important financial institution,

2017 is shaping up to be an incredible year for the distributed ledger technology industry as a whole and for AlphaPoint as well.” he stated.

Trillions of dollars are traded annually on NASDAQ alone. A reason why financial services entities are investing heavily in optimizing electronic trading to increase their speed in financial markets and reduce costs.

According to a study by Accenture and McLagan, Blockchain technology can help them save $8–12 billion per annum, including savings of up to 70 percent in reporting, 50 percent in post-trade and 50 percent in compliance.

Distributed ledger technology enables institutions to rethink how data flows within their organizations,” said Joe Ventura, founder and CEO of AlphaPoint.

Partnering with Scotiabank is an amazing experience — their team is leading the charge by proving out pragmatic, near-term implementations of this revolutionary technology.

This partnership of Scotiabank with AlphaPoint to trial distributed ledger technology is part of the bank’s broader desire to position itself ahead in the fintech development.

In January, it opened a 70,000 square foot Digital Factory in downtown Toronto to develop technology such as artificial intelligence and blockchain.

Managing Volumes

Scott Scalf, EVP of technology at AlphaPoint said the platform was designed to handle large amounts of data and thousands of events per second.

Just from a volume standpoint, the reality is, for these kinds of institutions to fully adopt this kind of technology, it’s got to support petabytes of data,” he said.

He explained that the platform has been built to maintain certain levels of privacy and anonymity, while also making records available to regulators.

This increases the privacy for a wide variety of utilizations, but we’ve done it in such a way that those records can be made available to appropriately authorized regulators.” he added.

BitAccess – A startup bringing Bitcoin to Canadians

Last year, BitAccess, an Ontario, Canada based research and development startup that manufacturers Bitcoin ATM enabled Bitcoin purchases in 6,000 Canadian Retail Locations via a Flexepin voucher that works similar to a gift card.

The voucher can be purchased via a payment card or by cash and works like a gift card. After purchasing the voucher from a store cashier a receipt is provided to the customer. 60 seconds later, the receipt can be redeemed for the cash equivalent in the cryptocurrency.

The vouchers are available in denominations of $10, $30, $50, $100 and $250. BitAccess couldn’t get its ATMs in the real world efficiently enough to serve the users who use Bitcoin as a transactional tool rather than an investment.

Another startup, Decentral, already launched similar service a month before BitAccess did. They started providing ‘Bitcoin cards’ that can be purchased at local retail stores across Canada.

Buyers can purchase different denominations of the card before redeeming the card value for bitcoin via Decentral’s website.

Soon after Decentral also revealed the plans to offer Ethereum and other alternative currencies in exchange for fiat Canadian dollars in retail locations.

BitAccess, on the other hand, recently presented the world’s first peer reviewed paper on smart contracts. The paper examines the architecture required to create a decentralized derivatives market, with no counterparty risk, by using Smart Contracts.

Smart Contract contains terms which are written and enforced by code, unlike traditional contracts which can be difficult to authenticate. The execution of the smart contract is carried out via machine, rather than relying on a fallible human performance component.

BitAccess submitted their findings for peer guidance and review. The paper discusses using smart contracts to model financial derivatives, security, solidarity, and final implementation as well as the challenges of building any form of financial markets on a blockchain today.

Deloitte Canada Embraces Bitcoin

Bistro 1858 is a private restaurant in Toronto exclusively for Deloitte employees and their guests. So exclusive that the guard standing outside the gate will not let you in if you don’t work at Deloitte.

The restaurant is located in the Bay Adelaide Center, in the city’s financial district. Its all-glass walls make the dining area visible to anyone passing by. The tower is located at the northwest corner of Yonge and Adelaide Street. “A most open place” in Toronto as it is called.

“Bistro 1858 has a seating capacity of 75 with take-out options. Breakfast and lunch ranges from approximately $3 to $12 for snacks and meals” said Iliana Oris Valiente , ‎Strategy and Execution Lead and co-founder at Rubix by Deloitte.

As it turns out hundreds of Deloitte practitioners purchase their meals from Bistro 1858 every day.

In September last year, Deloitte made headlines after installing a bitcoin ATM (BTM) at its Toronto offices. It was soon made accessible to the public.

We thought it was really important to show people how to get access to bitcoin because it is really the entry point to understand the broader implications of the blockchain,” Valiente stated.

Its fees are 4 percent to buy bitcoin and no fee for selling bitcoin, according to data from Coinatmradar. Also, a mobile phone number and an ID are required to use the BTM and there is a daily limit of $100 per person.

When we installed our BTM in the fall we received a lot of requests from within the firm to bring bitcoin to our Bistro.[…] As the industry shifts and evolves we hope to continue to bring new and valuable initiatives to our firm and our clients.” Valiente revealed.

As a result of this BTM, Deloitte is looking to understand the adoption of Bitcoin with new users.

Ian Chan, a partner at Deloitte said, “After placing a BTM in our offices and seeing Deloitte personnel downloading a wallet and buying their first fraction of a bitcoin, it seemed natural to enable the next step of the use case under our own roof.

All the ‘big four’ accounting firms; Deloitte, PwC, Ernst & Young and KPMG are going big on Bitcoin and Blockchain. They have made it public that they are researching and developing blockchain applications to improve their services and benefit the clients.

KPMG has partnered with Microsoft to co-launch blockchain development labs in Germany and Singapore. PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has deemed blockchain technology a “once in a generation opportunity” for financial services. In early 2016, PwC partnered with Blockstream and Digital Asset to roll out blockchain based applications in China.

Ernst & Young partnered the Bitfury Group, a bitcoin mining and blockchain tech giant to develop blockchain services and applications. This year, EY Switzerland began accepting bitcoin as payments for all of its services.

Deloitte arguably is ahead in the game in adopting and developing blockchain technology, with some 800 professionals across 20 countries exclusively working on blockchain-related prototypes in a number of areas including digital banking, payments and more.

Deloitte believes 2017 to be the “make-or-break” year for blockchain technology globally and is pouring resources into aggressive development by opening blockchain-exclusive labs in New York and Dublin.

Make Casino Deposits with Bitcoin in Canada

More and more companies are starting to accept Bitcoin as a currency everyday. Bitcoin casinos in Canada are no different.

Not only do they welcome bitcoin deposits, but give different bonuses. With Bitcoin you can make deposit and withdrawals quicker, cheaper, and more often.
Here are some advantages of using Bitcoin at Casino websites rather than your credit/debit card:

1. Saving money. There is a tiny fee when purchasing with bitcoin, however it’s very low if compared with other payment systems.

2. Time saving. It takes up to 10 minutes to make a transaction.

3. Universality. When purchasing at an online store of any other country, there is no need to exchange your money.

4. Simplicity. To make a purchase with bitcoins is much easier than with any other payment. All transactions are as simple as possible.

5. Safety and security. Bitcoin wallet is better protected than any credit card or accounts of any other e-payment.

6. Transparency. You can check every transaction made.

Next time you feel like gambling, give Bitcoin a go you’ll be surprised to see how smooth the whole process really is.

Buy Bitcoin in Canada

Using an exchange that is based in your home country has its perks. It will not only support your local fiat currency (CAD in this case), but also save you a lot of money in unnecessary fees.

For people from Canada, using a Canadian Bitcoin exchange will get you a lot of features that aren’t available in other exchanges, such as:

  • Bitcoin price in CAD (1 bitcoin in CAD).
  • Convenient Deposit and Withdraw method: Local Bank wire, Credit Card, Debit Card

1. QuadrigaCX

QuadrigaCX is Canada’s largest Bitcoin exchange. Deposit methods include: Bank Wire, INTERAC, Direct Bank Transfer, Money Order, Voucher.

The exchange also provides trading pairs of BTC/CAD, ETH/CAD, BTC/USD, ETH/BTC.

Recently they announced an ambitious plan to create a Bitcoin ATM network all across Canada. The trading platform will install BitXATM Sumo PRO in all the major cities of the country.

The plan is to dispatch the machines in patches of five, instead of installing all at once. In an early promotional offer, users will not be charged for ATM operations.

The ATMs will operate on the QuadrigaCX platform and will allow users to directly deposit and withdraw cash from QuadrigaCX balances.

QuadrigaCX has been credited with installing the first Lamassu and Skyhook ATMs in Canada.

2. CoinSquare

CoinSquare is another Canada based Bitcoin exchange. Deposit options include: Money Order, Bank Draft, Wire Transfer, Cash (Downtown Toronto), Flexepin, Interac e-Transfer.

Trading pairs available – BTC/CAD, ETH/BTC, LTC/BTC, DOGE/BTC, DASH/BTC.

3. LocalBitcoins

LocalBitcoins is an escrow service which also helps to match bitcoin buyers and sellers. The most common method of payment for purchase is cash deposit. However, users may advertise trades for whichever payment method they prefer.

Buying bitcoins via an in-person meeting, secured and facilitated by LocalBitcoins, may be one of the fastest and most private ways to buy bitcoins in any country.

When you use this service, make sure you check the rantings of the seller. Beware of scams and always follow the rules.

4. CoinBase

Coinbase is one of the world’s largest Bitcoin exchanges. Users in the United States, Canada, most of Europe, and Singapore can buy bitcoins with a connected bank account or SEPA transfer.

5. CoinMama

CoinMama is a Bitcoin broker that enables purchasing bitcoins with credit or debit cards. Fees are about 10% with limits of about $5,000 per day and $20,000 per month.

After verification Bitcoins are received within a few minutes. If buying less than $150 worth of bitcoins, you won’t need to verify your identity. This convenience makes small purchases quick and easy.

6. GDAX

Coinbase’s exchange, GDAX, is one of the largest Bitcoin exchanges in the United States. Users can fund their accounts via bank transfer, SEPA, or bank wire.

GDAX offers good prices and low fees, but their confusing user interface may initially prove difficult to navigate.

7. Indacoin

Indacoin is a global platform enabling the quickest bitcoin purchases in more than 200 countries with a credit or debit card and no registration.

The first time you use their service, you will receive a call from Indacoin with a 4-digit code, which should be entered on your order page. After that, you will have to enter a 3-digit code, which can be found on your online card statement next to the charge amount.

You will have the limit of $50 for the first transaction, $100 for the second transaction available after four days of the initial purchase and $500 after eight days of the first buy. The total limit for the first month will be $5,000 and then no limits at all.

Cryptocurrency is sent automatically within ten minutes after the payment.

8. Kraken

Kraken is a global Bitcoin exchange and supports European residents along with residents of the United States, Canada, and Japan.

Kraken offers excellent liquidity as its average daily volume is around 10-12 million euros. So if you want to buy large amounts of bitcoins, Kraken is a good option.

In order to deposit money and buy bitcoins, you will need to go through basic KYC procedure and verify your full name, date of birth etc.

Kraken’s fees are quite confusing to say the least. Here is the simple breakdown:

If you are buying less than $50,000 of bitcoins per month expect to pay between 0.16-0.26% in fees per buy.

If you use the “Simple” order form is displayed above you will pay 0.26%. If you want to learn how to use Kraken’s advanced order types you can pay just 0.16% if you become a “market maker”.

9. QuickBT

QuickBT is a Canadian broker which sells small amounts (up to $100) of bitcoin within minutes, via Interac Online, Flexepin vouchers, or a debit card. Usually bitcoins will be delivered within a few minutes after payment.

10. Bitcoin ATMs

Canada is home to world’s first Bitcoin ATM. These ATMs allow you to buy Bitcoin with cash. The process is extremely quick, easy and private. That convenience and privacy, costs you 5-10% fee.

There are a whooping 148 Bitcoin ATM in Canada.

Spend Bitcoin in Canada

There are plenty of merchants accepting Bitcoins as payment in Canada and around the world. Here is the list of few.

Online e-commerce sites

1. Newegg

A Los Angeles-based retail giant that recorded $2.58bn in annual revenue in 2015. It specialises in computer hardware and software, but also sells a variety of appliances and goods.

2. DELL

The multinational computer technology specialist, announced that it is accepting bitcoin through a partnership with Coinbase. With annual revenue approaching $57bn, Dell is roughly four times the size of DISH Network – the previous biggest bitcoin-accepting business.

3. Overstock

Overstock was the first major retailer to accept bitcoin when it made the announcement back in January 2014. The firm offers everything from furniture to jewellery to electronics.

Prices are in dollars but there is an option to pay in BTC on the checkout page. Initially a US-only offering, the firm opened up bitcoin purchases to over 100 countries including Canada.

4. Target

Target is the second-largest discount store retailer in the United States, behind Walmart, and a component of the S&P 500 Index.

5. Subway

Eat fresh and pay in Bitcoin.

6. Victoria’s Secret

Victoria’s Secret is an American designer, manufacturer, and marketer of women’s premium lingerie, womenswear, and beauty products. With 2012 sales of $6.12 billion, it is the largest American retailer of women’s lingerie.

7. Microsoft

Microsoft needs no introduction. Users can buy content with Bitcoin on Xbox and Windows store using Bitcoin.

8. Home Depot

The Home Depot, Inc. is an American home improvement supplies retailing company that sells tools, construction products, and services.

9. Sandman Hotel Group

Vancouver-based Sandman Hotel Group has started accepting bitcoin as a form of payment for room reservations.

Sandman claims the move makes it the first Canadian hospitality company to accept bitcoin. The group operates 44 hotels across Canada, and says guests can now make bitcoin reservations at every one of them.

10. BTCTrip

An online flight and hotel booking service that was one of the first in its industry to serve the bitcoin community. As of August 2014, the firm also accepts payments in dogecoin and litecoin.

You can find the full list of merchants accepting Bitcoin at Coinmap.org

To directly search for the products, visit spendbitcoins.ca and find the sellers accepting Bitcoin in Singapore for a particular product.

There are more than 150,000 merchants accepting Bitcoin worldwide. Here is the full list.

Using bitcoin to obtain discounts

Purse.io is a peer-to-peer marketplace that matches individuals wanting to buy items on Amazon at a discount with others wanting to buy bitcoin with a credit card or via PayPal. The service claims potential discounts of up to 20% for bitcoin shoppers.

Bitcoin gift cards

In case you can’t find physical or online stores that accept bitcoin directly for the item(s) your require, the easiest way to turn your digital currency into ‘real-world’ goods and services is via gift cards.

Plenty of gift card businesses accept bitcoins and these cards can be used at a surprising number of major retailers like Walmart, Amazon, Target and Nike. In Canada, you can buy gift cards from coincards.ca.

Conclusion

Canada has always been a big fan of cryptocurrencies since the very beginning. Not surprisingly, first Bitcoin ATM was launched in Vancouver.

Contactless payments and Bitcoin usage in Canada is on the rise. With recession in the near sight, Bitcoin adoption is likely to increase.

While the Central Bank of Canada is still trying to figure out how to regulate Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin rise seems inevitable in a country where economy may destabilize in the future.

Financial experts believe that Canada may become one of the many economies in the world to become cashless in the future. What that means for Bitcoin still remains to be seen.