Think back to December 16th, 2017. It’s the holiday season and your family is sitting around the dinner table talking about the best place to buy Bitcoin. Everyone knows about it, not just you. Your nieces and nephews, your aunts and uncles, your parents. Even your grandparents want to get it on it. They ask you to take their money so that you can buy it for them and help them pad their retirement fund. You proudly proclaim that you got in early and your family is wondering if you’re rich. They have every right to wonder. After all, the price tripled in just six weeks reaching its all-time high.
Fast-forward to December, 2018. It’s almost a year later. Your friends and family are no longer clamouring about getting into digital gold. You’re glad you have cash in your pocket and took profits, but you hold onto some of your BTC waiting for the next time the price is going to peak.
You sit back and reminisce for a while. You pat yourself on the back for getting in early and think about all the time you’ve spent learning about Bitcoin. You remember why you bought it. You wanted to stream content online without paying for a premium service. The site only allowed you to pay with American dollars or Bitcoin. As a proud Canadian you opt for the latter to save on the poor exchange rate. You Google Canadian Bitcoin websites and make your purchase not knowing how anything works. You follow the instructions on the website and send a few satoshis of value to an address represented by a long string of characters. The administrator for the streaming site grants you access. Your first transaction is complete.
Weeks later you are at a coffee shop doing some work when the guy next to you sees you researching more about your new digital obsession online. It’s cool that you’re still friends with him today because you pick his brain for all of his computer programming and blockchain knowledge from time to time. If it wasn’t for him, you wouldn’t have gone deeper into researching Satoshi Nakamoto’s white paper or Andreas Antonopolous’ Youtube lectures.
Does the above story sound like yours? It’s a summary of what my story is. No, I’m not one of the original cypherpunks responsible for helping create Bitcoin’s blockchain, but I did get in before the big price explosion. I was lucky enough to buy Bitcoin by registering a credit card and bank account, but the earliest adopters of cryptocurrency didn’t have it so easy in the beginning.
Let’s explore the evolution of acquiring and buying Bitcoin in Canada. The word acquiring is key, because before anyone could convert traditional fractional reserve banking currencies into digital gold, other means were required.
If you think the bitcoin price was low last year, imagine what it was like when the bitcoin blockchain produced its genesis block in October 2008. The earliest adopters purchased thousands of bitcoins for just a few dollars. Today, some of those adopters are leading innovation in the industry, using the billions of dollars they earned from getting in on the ground floor.
There are many reasons it was so cheap to get involved back then. Bitcoin’s successful launch occurred shortly after the global economic crisis of 2008. The world’s biggest financial institutions, even those who had been in business for over a century, came crashing down. Satoshi Nakamoto couldn’t have timed the invention of Bitcoin any better. The masses were hungry for a new way to exchange value.
No matter what technology or new invention promises to change the world, the reality is the earliest pioneers will always be way more excited and way more in-the –know than the average person. It’s for this reason that in the earliest days of Bitcoin’s inception, there were no fancy exchanges, no way to buy some with a credit card instantly, not even a website where you could meet people in person and exchange cash for crypto. All of those things would come later on.
In the beginning the only way to acquire bitcoins was to support the project’s blockchain and validate transactions on a public ledger through a process called mining. In hindsight, the earliest bitcoin miners had a huge competitive advantage over anybody that would call themselves an early adopter years later. Not only were they getting full Bitcoins for literal pennies, but they could mind them using only a laptop.
Imagine that today (just 11 years later), there are entire warehouses filled with computers all over the world dedicated to solving complex algorithms and maintaining large-scale mining operations profitable to the tune of millions of dollars.
Back in 2010, a developer named Laszlo Hanyecz bought two pizzas for 10,000 Bitcoins. When Bitcoin’s price spiked in 2018, those pizzas were worth more than $130 million Canadian. While it’s tempting to laugh at how much money Hanyecz’s purchase ended up costing him, those two Papa John’s pizzas are the first ever real world purchase of a product or service made with Bitcoin. If not for that, crypto enthusiasts who joined the foray years later may have never become interested in a decentralized, peer-to-peer network for exchanging value.
Think of the hurdles that were at play at the time. Not only would somebody who owns bitcoins have to be looking to spend them somewhere, the recipient would have to accept them as value. They would also need to understand cryptocurrency wallets and believe in the future of blockchain technology before everybody and their mother could log on to Reddit and get the latest crypto news.
Hanyecz may not have realized it at the time, but he helped to accelerate mass adoption. His pizza purchase proved Bitcoin’s use case to be more than just an abstract idea. The next set of adopters to enter the space would push things forward by finding ways to make purchasing cryptocurrency easier for the average consumer who does not have a programming background.
There are many more purchase methods available today than there ever have been thanks to the pizza order that started it all.
When cryptocurrency pricing charts are skyrocketing to the moon and investors want to capitalize on the way up, the best place to buy Bitcoin is Localcoin ATM. Localcoin ATM allows enthusiasts to purchase bitcoins, litecoins and ethereum tokens using cash.
A user can simply download a Bitcoin wallet onto their smartphone and scan a Receive QR code onto the ATM machine. The next step would be to deposit the desired amount of cash into the machine and confirm the purchase. The ATM machine then sends the user cryptocurrency instantly. No need to register personal banking information and wait 5 to 7 business days to set up a direct deposit.
Localcoin ATM has over 140 and their head office is located in Toronto. They plan to expand across the country and south of the boarder in the next few years. The machines themselves are very easy to use.
If you don’t mind registering your address and identification online to meet the Canadian government’s KYC requirements, buying cryptocurrency on an exchange is the way to buy bitcoin without leaving the house. You’ve probably already heard of major US based exchanges like Coinbase, but there are many others located right here in Canada, including Bitbuy.ca. Bitbuy.ca allows you to purchase several of the top cryptocurrencies on the market today.
Aside from the fact you can buy cryptocurrency on exchanges from the comfort of your own home, exchanges allow you to profit by making trades as well. The name of the game is the same as it would be on a traditional stock market exchange. Buy low and sell high. It’s one thing to know that, it’s another thing to do it.
Making trades comes with risk and if you don’t know how to manage risk, you can lose most or all of your assets quickly. It’s not uncommon for some cryptocurrencies to fluctuate by hundreds of percentage points in one day, or sometimes in just a few hours. Day trading cryptocurrencies on exchanges is not for the faint of heart.
Perhaps you think taking advantage of price differences between exchanges (a trading strategy known as retail arbitrage) is an easier way to profit from trading versus reading chart patterns. Keep in mind that even if Bitcoin is selling for more on one exchange than another, prices can change quickly. Even before your transactions are registered on the blockchain.
Hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars worth of cryptocurrencies are moving into the hands of the wrong people every day. One of the biggest misconceptions crypto newbies adopt when first getting into the industry is that their coins are safe because they are all registered on the blockchain. While a blockchain absolutely cannot be hacked, any website or central focal point that houses bitcoin wallets or private keys most certainly can be.
Hackers use social engineering to find information about you online and slowly but surely uncover more. Sometimes all it takes is your name and phone number. Once they have that information they contact your cell phone provider and get a customer service representative to reveal details about you. They then take what they learned and switch out your Sim card for a new one. This allows the hacker to reroute your password reset options to a new phone and steal your cryptocurrency before you realize it’s gone. This hack is referred to as a Sim card switch.
Buying a hardware wallet (like a USB key for your crypto) is one way you can keep your digital assets off of the Internet when you’re not trading or exchanging value. It’s been said many times in the cryptocurrency world that if you don’t own the private keys to your tokens, no matter how secure the website you’re hosting them on may claim to be, those tokens are not yours.
Always be smart about protecting your digital assets. If you’re not making an exchange with another party, keep them offline and a hardware wallet. Better safe than sorry.
Bitcoin’s blockchain was invented to facilitate peer-to-peer transactions without the need for a third party. Unfortunately, users need to get their hands on some digital gold first before they can participate in the economy. Anybody enthusiastic about exchanging value directly with individuals as opposed to allowing a central authority to facilitate transactions might as well be exchanging that value in person.
LocalBitcoins.com is perhaps the most popular website for allowing you to meet up with other people in the flesh to exchange fiat money for cryptocurrency. Users can both buy and sell on the website and agreed to terms before they meet. One of the major advantages of LocalBitcoins.com is that you can see the rate users want to charge for bitcoins and cash exchanges before you arrange meeting. Another advantage is the fact that filling out KYC information and providing identification is not necessary.
The downside of LocalBitcoins.com is that users don’t really know who they are meeting. Many people who exchange cryptocurrency for cash in person and vice versa in order to avoid identifying themselves properly might be involved in some sort of black-market dealings and there is some element of danger involved in meeting with a stranger to exchange value.
That being said LocalBitcoins has been around for a long time, and it’s a platform that many early adopters trust.
Using PayPal to exchange money for cryptocurrency from person to person might be an alternative to LocalBitcoins.com for those who don’t want to risk meeting in person. However, anybody using PayPal should ensure that the company will actually provide buyer protection on any transactions.
If you don’t want to bother with all of that, you can buy Bitcoin in Canada on Bitbuy. Register for an account today and get your hands on any number of the top digital currencies on the market today!
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