Bitcoin was the trailblazer after being launched in 2009 and is still the biggest name in crypto. While the market is regarded as volatile, with currencies rising and falling in value dramatically, a projected global market of US$64.87bn by 2027makes it a tempting investment proposition that many in Canada are keen to capitalize on.
Around 13% of Canadians held bitcoin by 2021 and this figure is expected to rise due to the popularity of different cryptocurrencies and their uses.
While cryptocurrency is not considered legal tender in Canada, it is still used regularly by people and industries that see the value of a decentralized currency. As with any exchange of currencies, there are risks involved. However, the rewards can make it worthwhile for crypto-friendly businesses. The following examples show how Canadians have adopted cryptocurrency.
The first and most obvious use of cryptocurrency is as currency. Many Canadian companies accept Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as payment. While it is not legal tender and Canadian Dollars are the legal tender of Canada, trading cryptocurrency for goods is still possible if the company accepts it.
Some businesses in Canada that accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment include:
Buying gold and silver is a great way to invest money, and there has been a recent debate about whether cryptocurrency could rival this. Silver Gold Bull Canada makes it easy for people to trade Bitcoin for gold or silver, giving them the best of both worlds.
This is a great option for people who are a bit nervous about the fluctuating value of cryptocurrencies and would prefer a physical investment. A 4% saving by paying with cryptocurrency also makes this an attractive proposition.
Bylls is a company that allows cryptocurrency users to pay bills with more than 9,000 businesses using cryptocurrency. Acting as a middleman for businesses that don't accept crypto, this is a convenient service that allows users to use cryptocurrency for their day-to-day needs.
Travala is designed for travellers to spend cryptocurrency on flights and accommodation, making it easier to plan trips.
Travala accepts a range of cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Polkadot, and Shiba Inu.
Online gamblingis a growing industry that benefitted from the temporary closure of licensed betting venues during the COVID-19 pandemic. As more people learn the benefits and convenience of gamblingonline, the opportunity for crypto casinos to enter the market arose. There is now a great selection of gambling sites that accept bitcoin in Canadawhich gives players an extensive choice. People are able to bet on sportsbooks, online slots, and other casino games. They also have the opportunity to take advantage of signup bonuses that can increase initial deposits and stakes.
Cryptocurrency is also recognized as having the potential to be a great investment. For example, in October 2010, Bitcoin was worth just ten US cents. This means that a $100 investment would have bought around 1,000 Bitcoin. In February 2021, the value of this investment would have been in excess of $48 million.
Because of this, many people are trying to predict the next big thing in cryptocurrency and invest early.
As with any investment, there is an element of risk and knowing when to cash in is key to a healthy profit.
Charitable donations of cryptocurrency can be mutually beneficial. Those donating can claim against donations on their income taxes when paying with cryptocurrency. Tax receipts can be provided by the charity.
Charities can also benefit if the value of cryptocurrency increases, leading to the donation rising in value.
Most people won't consider the prospect of bank accounts or assets being frozen. This might seem like something that will only happen to criminals or on TV. In reality, it is more common than many people realize and can affect people having financial difficulty.
The decentralized nature of cryptocurrency means they are censorship-resistant and only the person with the private keys to their crypto wallet can access it.
When exploring the use of cryptocurrencies in Canada, it’s also important to consider how they are regulated in the country. Thankfully for crypto enthusiasts, Canada was one of the first countries to create laws regarding digital assets and how they could be used in 2014. Despite implementing legislation, Canada was recognized as being balanced and fair and their well-defined regulations attracted a number of blockchain-based businesses.
As well as benefitting from the clear regulations, theCanadian Securities Administrators(CSA) also established an infrastructure that allowed companies to register with them and test their products on the Canadian market.
Despite the thriving cryptocurrency businesses in the country, Canada does not recognize cryptocurrencies as being legal tender. However, crypto-friendly ATMs are found in many major cities alongside businesses that accept cryptocurrencies as payment.
Vancouver leads the way in terms of crypto-friendly cities with 101 businesses or ATMs available. Toronto boasts 72, while numbers drop to 32 and 23 for Ottawa and Edmonton respectively.
Regulations are carried out and enforced by the individual provinces of Canada as cryptocurrencies are regarded as securities. This means that regulations can vary across the country, but most follow a consistent pattern.
Exchanges facilitate cryptocurrency tradingand must register with the regulator where they are set up. These businesses are subject to disclosure obligations to ensure the transparency of operations and the safety of investors.
Canadian residents are expected to link a bank account to the regulated exchange they use to trade cryptocurrency.
Businesses that accept cryptocurrency are obligated to deal with value fluctuations that can occur. Cryptocurrency is not accepted by the Government of Canada to pay taxes.
The regulators for each province or territory in Canada are as follows:
- Alberta - The Alberta Securities Commission
- British Columbia - The British Columbia Securities Commission
- Manitoba - Manitoba Securities Commission
- Saskatchewan - Saskatchewan Financial & Consumer Affairs Authority
- Quebec - Autorite des Marches Financiers
- Ontario - Ontario Security Commission
- New Brunswick - Financial & Consumer Service Commission
- Newfoundland and Labrador - Newfoundland and Labrador Superintendent of Securities Office
- Nova Scotia - Securities Commission of Nova Scotia
- Nunavut - Superintendent of Securities Office
- Yukon - Superintendent of Securities Office
- Northwest Territories - Superintendent of Securities Office
- Prince Edward Island - Superintendent of Securities Office
The global use of cryptocurrency is on the rise and this trend is no different in Canada. The security, convenience, and potential for high returns make it an attractive option.
Canada’s acceptance of cryptocurrency saw the country welcome many pioneering companies and a number of cities have also been welcoming to this alternative way of paying for goods.
With a range of new and old cryptocurrencies on the market and businesses making moves to protect themselves by embracing online technology, it looks like Canada may be at the forefront of crypto’s acceptance into everyday use.