A primer on Bitcoin: The digital currency will do to the dollar bill what email did to letters
News that a Bitcoin ATM has started operating in Vancouver has left many Canadians scratching their heads: What the heck is a Bitcoin and why should people care?
Bitcoin is a digital currency. It is essentially an open source piece of software that maintains a distributed, peer-to-peer accounting ledger of all Bitcoin transactions. The Bitcoin network keeps track of who owns each Bitcoin, which prevents people from spending the same coin twice.
Bitcoins can be purchased using Canadian dollars, or any other traditional currency. Unlike loonies or dollar bills, Bitcoins are stored electronically. When purchased from an ATM, the machine will print out a ticket that allows the purchaser to take possession of the Bitcoin by inputting a digital key into an online wallet, computer or smart phone. (Photo: Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press)