Buying bitcoin is still seen as a major hurdle for many people, but we've come a long way from the days of a downtown meetup with someone you've never met. Before there were bitcoin exchanges and ATMs, if you wished to make a purchase, you first had to find someone who was willing to sell. Those early bitcoin purchases may have been public meetups at reputable coffee shops, but over time they have taken on folklore status. The encounters live on as tales of sketchy back-alley exchanges of money, complete with shadowy figures and other embellishments.
We've come a long way...
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One new option for easy purchase of bitcoin in Canada is BitAccess. A Flexepin Voucher can be purchased at any one of 6,000 locations across the country, including gas stations, grocery and convenience stores, as well as other various retail outlets. These vouchers can be bought in denominations of $10, $30, $50, $100, or $250, and paid for with cash or debit card. The voucher can be redeemed at https://bitcoin.bitaccess.co/ with a login password sent to your mobile phone. After logging in, you simply enter the 16 digit PIN that is on the voucher, as well as your bitcoin address. Once you have purchased the voucher, the rest of the process takes less than ten minutes.
A second easy buying option in Canada may be more appealing to the armchair bitcoin buyer. QuickBT allows you to purchase from .004 to 0.17 bitcoin per day, which is roughly $2 to $90 at current prices. The upper limit is capped at $100 per day should the price of bitcoin rise. On the QuickBT site, your bitcoin address is entered along with a cell phone number. A PIN is sent via text, allowing you to complete your purchase. You are directed to the INTERAC Online site to pay, so your account information stays between you and your bank. Your first bitcoin acquisition may take up to twenty four hours to complete the verification, but subsequent purchases can be completed in a matter of minutes.
The BitAccess / Flexepin option has a couple of advantages that will be important for some people. Since the Flexepin voucher is purchased with cash, it may be the preferred method of buying bitcoin for people who are not comfortable with online banking. It also has a higher daily limit for those who need it. QuickBT, on the other hand, makes it possible to buy bitcoin without ever leaving the house - a very important consideration when the temperature can drop to -30 Celsius on a Canadian winter day.
If you are new to bitcoin, or wish to purchase another cryptocurrency, you can use a reputable exchange as a temporary address. Poloniex is a popular exchange that supports both good volume and a wide selection of digital currencies. I would never recommend using an exchange to store coins for an extended period of time, but to get started, it does make things easier.