Toronto has its first Bitcoin machine, located at King Street West and Spadina Avenue.

Bitcoin, which allows people to convert their money to digital coins or bitcoins, is the first decentralized digital currency.

The only other Canadian Bitcoin ATM is located in Vancouver and it has seen massive success since it was unveiled in late-October of 2013.

While some view it as a passing fad and have questioned its validity, others see it as the replacement for the current monetary system.

The volatility of the emerging digital currency has been a focus of attention for market regulators, with its stock price rising from 30 cents in 2012 to a peak of about $1,200 in 2013. Today it is closer to $900.

In 2013, a U.S. judge ruled that Bitcoin is a real currency.

What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a digital currency, controlled by Bitcoin users.

How does Bitcoin work?

It provides users with a personal “Bitcoin wallet” and allows users to send and receive bitcoins with them.

Bitcoins can be received without a merchant account; so in essence, payments are easier to make than debit or credit card purchases.

Bitcoins are transferred from person-to-person without having to go to a bank, which means the transaction fees are lower. They can be used around the world.

The process is set up so that the total number of bitcoins that can ever be generated is limited to about 21-million.

The transactions are also secured by cryptography.

Watch the video that explains bitcoins below:

A person can acquire bitcoins as payment for goods or services, by purchasing bitcoins at a Bitcoin exchange, exchanging bitcoins with another person and earning them through competitive mining.

Advantages of Bitcoin
• Ability to send and receive money quickly worldwide
• Payments are made without fees, or at times, very low fees
• Secure transactions that offer limited risks for merchants and customers
• Users can be in complete control of their money and transactions
• Transparent transactions

History of Bitcoin

Bitcoin was first introduced by software developer Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009. However, the concept of “crypto-currency” was first described in 1998 by Wei Dai.

Bitcoin made headlines when it was used as a method of payment to buy and sell drugs through the online marketplace Silk Road, which has since been shut down by U.S. law enforcement authorities.

Toronto companies that accept bitcoins

• Ark Army Surplus on Wilson Ave
• Smoke Burbon Bar-B-Q on Harbord St.
• Advertising agency hqvb

With files from Mike Eppel and James Munroe, 680News, and The Canadian Press