FRIDAY NOVEMBER 24, 2017
 
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CANADA APPROVES FIRST BITCOIN INVESTMENT FUND - BUT WHAT IS BITCOIN AND HOW CAN I USE IT?
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The Canada Securities Commission has approved the first registration of a Bitcoin investment fund. The investment fund First Block Capital Inc. will allow investors to gain exposure to the value of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology without having to purchase and hold Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies themselves. It appears Canada is becoming more open to this new exciting form of finance but wants to have in place a regulatory standard to avoid legal issues and confusion going forward.

Bitcoin and other digital currencies with the technology behind them offer some new and innovative ways to finance projects in Canada. It seems the Canadian government wants to encourage financial innovation and not miss out on the opportunities it could bring. Not all countries are taking such an accommodative approach, most notably China, who recently banned ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings).


WHAT IS BITCOIN?

Bitcoin is a digital currency that was created by the mysterious "Satoshi Nakamoto", whose true identity has never been verified. Bitcoin operates using decentralized technology and encryption techniques. No single government or institution controls Bitcoin and with the total supply limited to 21 million it cannot be inflated at will like fiat currencies. Bitcoin can only be used electronically and does not have a physical form such as notes or coins like dollars, euros, pounds and other fiat currencies do.

Satoshi Nakamoto along with his collaborators designed Bitcoin with the intention of "liberating money" in a similar way to how the internet has liberated the transfer of information. Bitcoin is transferred directly from person to person without the need for a bank or middleman. Personal details are also not required. These factors result in quicker transfers, lower fees (especially for international transfers) and greater privacy.

 

WHAT ARE THE USES OF BITCOIN?

More and more goods and services are becoming available to purchase with Bitcoin as it gains more mainstream appeal. There are many online retailers that now accept Bitcoin including big names like Microsoft and Dell. Other good and services online retailers are offering in exchange for Bitcoin include electronics, jewelry, gift cards, flights, travel and more. The number of brick and mortar stores now accepting Bitcoin is also on the increase.

Online Bitcoin gambling and Bitcoin casinos are becoming popular too, offering roulette, dice, slots, blackjack and other games. These sites allow visitors to gamble using Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies anonymously and without the need for registration.

gambling-2001033_640_1.jpgInvesting and trading are other big areas of use for Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. The value of Bitcoin has seen phenomenal growth over the last decade and increased by more than 200% in value this year alone. Investing and trading Bitcoin can be done through a number of online cryptocurrency exchanges.

Bitcoin and the blockchain technology behind it have the potential to really change the financial world and are already creating some exciting and innovative opportunities. More uses for Bitcoin are becoming available all the time and the success of this new type currency will depend a lot on the approaches different countries around the world take to it.

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