Call it popularity or call it hype but Bitcoins are here to stay. This is proved in the fact that despite Canada’s central bank, The Bank of Canada declaring use of Bitcoins illegal. On Friday, 16th Jan, the Bank of Canada officials declared that Bitcoin was not a legal tender as far as Canada was concerned. But this has not deterred entrepreneurs from installing Bitcoin ATMs in Canada.
Canada is all set to be the top Bitcoin ATM location in the world thanks to these entrepreneurs. At least three cities in Canada are set to have Bitcoin ATMs installed in the coming weeks. The new Bitcoin ATMs are supposed to come up in capital, Ottawa, Montreal and the financial hub city, Toronto.
Entrepreneur Fadi Azouz, who is putting up the Bitcoin ATM in Montreal said that the installation would be completed by 24th January at the Bitcoin Embassy in Montreal. It will take live rates from either BitStamp or the Canadian exchange Virtex. The revenue stream for this ATM will be a 5 percent charge on all transactions though the Bitcoin Embassy is a not for profit organisation dedicated to promoting the usage of Bitcoins in Canada. When asked about the recent announcement by Canada’s Central Bank regarding Bitcoins, Azouz said,
“The [statement] does not affect us at all. As long as the millions of people using bitcoin around the world continue to believe in it and trust it to be an honest method of payment, it shall continue to [be] just that.”
Azouz, whose company is Vx5 Technologies said they will be installing and operating bitcoin ATMs in eight other countries by the end of this year. The countries which are being chosen include Lebanon, the Philippines, Hungary and Venezuela, among others.
Azouz has opted for a machine built by an Ottawa company called Bitaccess. Bitaccess, quite rightly, calls its machines ‘BTMs‘. These BTMs convert the fiat currency (in this case Canadian Dollar) to Bitcoin. Other manufacturers, namely Lamassu and Robocoin offer Bitcoin ATMs that convert fiat to bitcoin or two-conversions.
In Ottawa a company called BiTCapital has already installed a Bitcoin ATM yesterday and it is since up and running in Clocktower Brew Pub. Canada’s commercial capital, Toronto also has a Bitcoin ATM installed at Bitcoin Decentral. This ATM is operated by the Bitcoin Alliance of Canada.
However the record of being first Bitcoin ATM in the world and Canada goes to Vancouver. It become the first City in the world to have a Bitcoin ATM permanently installed last October. This Robocoin ATM made a unusual record of garnering CA$1 milllion in deposits in just 29 days of operation. It is being run by Bitcoiniancs who in December said that they will expand further in Canada and install Robocoin ATMs in Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Calgary.