Bitcoin: Be prepared for the rise of digital currency, adopters say

postxmasincrease14 Feb 2014 / – Each day, Lorne Lantz buys his lunch with Bitcoin. Some say the burgeoning digital currency has no real value — but his sandwiches say otherwise.

Bitcoins and other “cryptocurrency” have started to rise from the fringes of the internet to the cusp of mainstream use — a remarkable breakthrough for a currency which made its online debut only four years ago.

When they first began moving online, Bitcoins could buy you almost nothing. Now, there’s almost nothing they can’t buy. From songs to survival gear, cars to consumer goods, hard currency to hard drugs — retailers are rushing to adopt the virtual currency for all its perks. Bitcoin ATMs are popping up in major cities like Toronto, Ottawa and Vancouver.

“It solves so many big problems in the financial industry,” said Lantz, a recent DeGroote School of Business graduate who is now an engineer working on financial startups in Silicon Valley. “We’re moving towards everything being done digitally.”

Advocates describe Bitcoin as the foundation of an almost utopian economy: one with no borders, no change fees, no closing hours, and no one to dictate what you can and can’t do with your money.

The currency’s detractors say Bitcoin in and of itself has no value – rather that it just functionally meets certain payment and monetary needs — which has attracted investors who then give Bitcoin real financial value through speculation. The Conservative government also singled out the seedier side of the currency in its 2014 federal budget this week, pledging to ensure it can’t be used to launder money or finance terrorism.

But early adopters in the Hamilton area say digital currency is just going to keep growing…… Read more

Follow Twitter

Exchange Rate