Cowpuccinos owner Judson Rouse demonstrates how to buy some Bitcoin at the new machine in his coffee shop. (Matthew Allen / The Northern View)

First Bitcoin machine arrives in northern B.C.

New machine in Prince Rupert cafe will allows users to buy virtual currencies

The cryptocurrency craze has found its way to northern B.C.

The first Bitcoin ATM in the region was installed at Cowpuccino’s cafe in Prince Rupert this week, allowing people to purchase it and other cryptocurrencies like Lightcoin, Etherium and Bitcash as if they were depositing money into their personal bank accounts.

READ MORE: Cowpuccino’s up for two Small Business B.C. awards

Mike Whitford, a day trader who owns and installed the machine at the coffee shop, said he wanted to make Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies more accessible to average consumers in the north.

“It’s pretty difficult for someone who isn’t computer or tech savvy to go online and try to find the right exchange,” Whitford said. “So with a machine, people can go to Cowpuccino’s and we can show you how to download a wallet. It’s bridging the gap so people can feel safe about using it.”

A cryptocurrency is virtual money that can be used to buy and sell goods and services online over a secure network. Unlike mainstream currencies, a cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin is not tied to any physical resource, bank or central authority. Rather, each member of the network has access to every transaction that has ever taken place using the virtual currency, ensuring its validity and security.

The first Bitcoins were introduced in 2009, and the market for them has grown exponentially. Currently, one Bitcoin has a value of $11,099.39 CAD. There has been some skepticism in mainstream financial commentary about its security and long-term potential, but its advocates say it is here to stay.

“It’s basically the US dollar to the cryptocurrency market,” Whitford said. “It’s so strong now that it would be very difficult for it to go away.”

Buying virtual currency, such as Bitcoin, usually requires a relatively sophisticated understanding of the system and a digital wallet, which allows users to conduct transactions. The machine at Cowpuccino’s will function as a Bitcoin ATM.

Cowpuccino’s owner, Judson Rowse, said he agreed to have the machine set up because of how innovative it is.

A few customers have already used the machine, he said, and he may consider accepting Bitcoin payments in the future as the transaction fees are considerably less than current credit card and debit payment options. The money he saves on those fees as a merchant could potentially be passed back to his customers.

“If I were to accept Bitcoin regardless of the ATM, I think it would show people how it could work full circle,” he said. “It’s just another option.”



matthew.allen@thenorthernview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

‘Pods’ set up at Surrey homeless centre

Temporary shelter set up in April to help stop the spread of COVID-19

Suspect sought in alleged indecent act in South Surrey

Police say incident occurred near 13 Avenue and 131 Street

New video evidence in Surrey man’s West Kelowna murder trial shown in court

The defence closed its case following the playing of the video in court, marking the end of the evidentiary phase of the trial

IHIT investigating ‘suspicious’ death of Surrey man

Officers found a body in the 11300-block of Bridgeview Drive: Surrey RCMP

PHOTOS: White Rock Farmers’ Market ‘welcomes all vendors’

Relaxing pandemic restrictions mean full spectrum of vendors can return to uptown market: manager

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

We’re asking you to lock arms with us, as we look to better days ahead

Kelowna Mountie who punched suspect identified, condemned by sister

‘How did he get away with this? How is this justifiable?’

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park at large

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

IHIT names homicide victim found in the Fraser Canyon this week

Police asking for tips into the suspicious death of 29-year-old Alicia Berg

No charges to be laid against 22 northern B.C. pipeline protesters

Twenty-two people were arrested in February, but Crown has decided not to pursue charges

Plan in place for BC Ferries to start increasing service levels

Ferry corporation reaches temporary service level agreement with province

Most Read