Cryptocurrency and blockchains

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years you likely are familiar with the term: Bitcoin.  However, for those unfamiliar, Bitcoin is a digital currency which acts very much like paper money which can be used to purchase goods or even exchanged for real paper currency like Canadian or U.S. dollars.  It’s also a payment method so anyone can send and receive money anywhere in the world very quickly.

Bitcoin has had a rocky road on its way to legitimacy in the realm of currency alternatives.  One of the big innovations that helped spearhead it into mainstream attention was its use of a technology known as  blockchaining.  One of the remarkable features of a blockchain is that it is a unique, traceable, and unchangeable record of transactions.  With such a unique ability it can help lower fraud cases in the financial sector saving big banks billions.  This is why major financial institutions are taking blockchaining seriously and looking to expand their efforts by incorporating it.

With over 2 million Bitcoin users worldwide and growing, and its cemented respect in the financial sector, it continues to mature rapidly.  One of these maturity milestones include the birth of BitLicense — a strict, certified guideline framework for getting licensed for Bitcoin and digital currencies operations in the U.S.  Getting licensed is mandatory, very expensive, and very difficult to get.  It was done to only ensure legitimate business ventures into the sector, protecting consumers.  Licensing requires detailed background checks, proof of profitability, online security details, and more.  At present Canada does not require a license, but it is in the works.

Rapid growth is a sure way to get the attention of investors and so to no surprise many new startups have jumped in to capitalize on it.  One such venture, 21 Inc. is a collection of who’s who such as CEO’s from eBay, PayPal, and DropBox.  Then there’s Vancouver-based Quadriga FinTech which are getting funding faster then they know what to do with it.  Quadriga has become Canada’s top Bitcoin exchange.

Surprisingly, with the heavy interest in Bitcoin at present there haven’t been much chatter in the discount brokerage industry about making use of it for customer transactions or even operating an internal exchange of their own, allowing customers to have a unified location for a bitcoin wallet and stock securities.  Although we’ve done comprehensive articles on brokerages like Questrade we have never uncovered any of them even considering incorporating bitcoins into their platforms.  Maybe this will change in the future seeing as how more and more people are using bitcoin and online brokerages in their daily lives.


  1. It really is remarkable how much bit coin has evolved and become part of our fabric in buying and selling today. I for one have used it a few times but because of the high charger per coin i am now just relegated to a person in awe looking from the stands.

  2. So there is no licensing requirements when conducting business in Canada, only the US? Interesting. So what’s stopping US parties who wish to also get in on this setting up shops across the border if they feel they don’t meet the regulatory requirements for licensing down south?

  3. I still don’t understand the use of a bitcoin wallet. Why can’t one just hold their own coins on their own side? Cut the middle man out.

  4. I wish there was a discussion on the big toss up with it a few years back when the value collapsed 1/4 its value due to some exchange in Japan taking customers holdings held in their digital wallet. Not sure if they were caught.

  5. So whats with the whole bitcoin mining thing? I heard about this and how people use powerful graphics cards working in tandem to figure out this chain thing.

  6. My fear of this new technology is that because it is all digital who is to say that it wont be hacked and one could lose their shirt from it all.

    This is why i stick with tangible things like real currency. That way i am in more control.

  7. But how do i get a bit coin?

  8. Saw the bitcoin logo at this local shop the other day. Was a bit puzzled at first because it looks like it was a promotion or some kind of game (the logo they use for bitcoin). I had to do some research and low and behold i came across this article among others:)

  9. Well, to be frank, it is still tiny in comparison to more traditional payment and currencies. Yes, it has had a impact but it is far from being adopted and used by John and Jill when taking their 2 kids to Disney World.

  10. Yes it would be a very good idea to see online brokers get fully involved in bit coin. It seems like a logical fit.

  11. One impressive thing i do like is how it is a universal currency where someone in Narobi, Africa can trade with someone in here in Nova Scotia and we both know the exchange is identical. So no need to deal with exchange rates and fees to convert them. Ugh!

  12. I’ve heard of other alternatives to this but none have really caught on. Any reason why or is it simply because bitcoin was the first? I would think it has some flaws that were corrected in other competitors.

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