Douglas magazine Aug/Sep 2014 - page 9

Douglas 9
ictoria has its first Bitcoin ATM thanks to a group of
tech-smart entrepreneurs. The virtual currency machine
was recently installed at Hemp & Company Clothing by
BitBrokers Inc., a local company founded by Scott Sheldrake,
Ryan Price and Ming Leung.
The company chose Hemp & Company, Sheldrake says,
because the store already accepted Bitcoin payments,
so there was no merchant learning curve. He says
the ATM simplifies the process of buying Bitcoins so
users no longer have to go through complex online
exchanges for buying and selling.
Sheldrake admits that what some see as Bitcoin's
advantages, others view with suspicion or confusion,
including the fact that no single organization owns or
controls Bitcoin, which is decentralized and consists of a network
made up of millions of computers (known as miners) worldwide.
“One of our goals,” Sheldrake says, “is to drive awareness.”
Since Bitcoin’s 2009 launch, numerous companies, most notably
Expedia, are beginning to accept the currency. For information
on how Bitcoin works, visit
Mark your Calendar
State of the Island
Economic Summit
October 29 – 30, 2014
Vancouver’s Island economic landscape is the hot topic at the
8th Annual State of the Island Economic Summit at the Nanaimo
Conference Centre. The summit features keynote speaker Jason
Kenney, Canada’s minister of employment and social development.
This year’s conference is expected to attract approximately 600
people and, besides the keynote presentations, will feature16
breakout sessions.
For information, contact
George Hanson, Vancouver
Island Economic Alliance (VIEA)
president, says Kenney’s current
portfolio, combined with his past
portfolio as minister of citizenship,
immigration and multiculturalism,
makes him an ideal national
figure to speak on some of the
country’s most pressing issues
and ones that have a big impact
on the Island.
Also headlining the conference
Sophie Pierre
, chief
commissioner of the B.C. Treaty
Commission. Says Hanson, “The
recent Supreme Court ruling [on
Aboriginal land title] has raised the
profile of First Nations and their
economic development. So I think
it’s very timely to have Sophie
Pierre here.”
Conference goers will get a
glimpse of the future via globally
known futurist and strategy advisor
Bob Treadway
who will explore
the forces driving business over
the next five years and beyond.
He will delve into social change,
demographic shifts, consumer
behaviour and some of the
surprises that could await Island
industries and companies in 2020.
Bites into Victoria Market
The Bitcoin ATM allows
people to exchange cash for
Bitcoins at prices set on the
open market. Users can also
send Bitcoins back to the ATM
to exchange for cash.
Canada’s first Bitcoin
machine was installed
in Vancouver in 2013.
Bitcoins purchased at the ATM
are sent to the user’s Bitcoin
“wallet," which can be stored
on any computer or mobile
device. People use their
"wallets" to make purchases
or send Bitcoins to anyone,
small businesses
that do not have
a website
who research their
purchases online
Not Found
Jason Kenney
Sophie Pierre
Bob Treadway
Total amount of
Western Economic
Innovation Initiative
(WINN) loans
provided to three
Victoria businesses —
Redlen Technologies,
Tutela and iDUS
Controls — to help
them bring their
ideas into the global
Source: BDC, 2014
Local WINN
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