Bitcoin's value drawing attention
Published Friday, December 8, 2017 4:07PM EST
Last Updated Friday, December 8, 2017 4:11PM EST
If you bought Bitcoin when it was first released to the world in 2009 you've probably made a mint.
The price of the online currency has increased by 1,500 per cent over the last year, ending the week at more than $20,000 CDN on Friday afternoon.
"Everyone owns digital money in some form right now whether its money on a bank account or a Starbucks gift card," said Moe Adham, the co-founder of BitAccess.ca. "Bitcoin is on your own computer instead of a bank's computer."
Bitcoin is kind of digital money that can be quickly and cheaply transferred online to users anywhere in the world and does not depend on a bank or on the government. Instead, its value is dependent on how many people are buying or selling it.
Adham's company created the first Bitcoin bank machine, making the virtual currency more accessible to the everyday person.
"It's a commodity like Gold. It depends on how many people want to buy it vs. sell it. Right now a lot of people want to purchase Bitcoin so the price is going up."
The quick rise in the currency's value comes as the financial community prepares for bitcoin futures to hit the CBOE.
Three Brothers on Rideau has a bitcoin ATM at each of its downtown stores and said people use it every day.
"Every day there are a lot of people," said the chain's owner Charbel Karakouzian. "Yesterday there were four people waiting in line to use it."
Karakouzian said he was happy to jump on board to allow customers to buy bitcoin but he said he's not ready, just yet, to use it in store.
"For now I'm not ready to take that step, but most people will use it to transfer to people in another country," he said.
Want to know more? Watch this interview: Extended Interview: What is Bitcoin?