Kelowna BC, Canada appears to have a bipolar view of itself as a general rule. On the one hand, it continues to be known as the fruit basket of Canada, exporting agricultural goods around the world and winning awards with vine and tree fruit every year. On the other hand, it is considered a technological up and comer with more and more businesses coming into town in the IT and multimedia sectors. On one hand, Kelowna prides itself on the “small town” feel while on the other hand, boasts itself as a tourist trap, senior retirement resort town and budding yuppy centre.
Consequently, Kelowna residents are a grand mix of technologically savvy and illiterate, online shoppers and in-person only! You can even find technologically savvy in-person shoppers and computer-illiterate online shoppers. For those of us in the tech world, that second group is a hand-wringer, particularly in light of recent threats such as WannaCry and yet another recent public dump of people’s passwords. The first group in this paragraph however, has been catered to in a very interesting manner over the past several years.
If you follow me over on my financial musings blog, you’ll be aware that I’ve dipped my toes into the world of bitcoin since roughly mid-February 2017. I proved to myself that a person in the low/fixed-income bracket can indeed make a BTC pure-play by starting out in the dangerous world of faucet earnings. Their only investment is time, provided they meet a certain group of criteria for both themselves and their computers. A second method for making a BTC pure-play entry is by way of earning BTC the same way anyone earns a living. To that end, FCS now offers BTC as a viable way to pay for services offered. Time blocks can be purchased using BTC as of May 2017. A third way to get into the world of bitcoin, is to buy your way in. While there are many exchanges online and many trading sites to choose from, I was pleasantly surprised to find another method to purchase BTC right here in Kelowna.
It is now possible for a technologically-savvy in-person shopper to walk into one of several places in town and buy BTC right there. They do this by way of a voucher system that they cash in online once they have returned to their computer at home. http://www.gonetcoins.com lists 6 locations in Kelowna where you can stop in, ask the cashier to print you a voucher, pay your desired amount and walk out having claim to a certain amount of BTC. Enter Kelowna BC into the map interface to see these locations. FCS will be featuring one business in town that doesn’t show up on this map, but uses the same service to offer BTC for sale in their store.
Buying BTC isn’t enough however, you need somewhere safe to keep it. This location is known as a wallet. Localbitcoin.com, Coinbase.com, and Xapo.com are three wallets that exist out on the Internet. Xapo.com is the most friendly to faucet earning deposits if you go that route to get BTC, just make sure you are earning from either a Xapo-supported faucet, or not cashing out till you have over 30,000 satoshi (the smallest BTC digit) before sending it over. Most BTC wallets won’t allow a deposit smaller than 20,000 satoshi, and you’ll likely lose most if not all of that in network fees paid to the miners for processing your transaction. Xapo has recently changed their own system of payment to miners, now placing that in the hands of xapo users directly as of May 2017. Some people will download software wallets onto their computers, or buy hardened external harddrives or NAS devices to store their BTC wallet behind a hardware firewall in an effort to protect cyber criminals for hacking in and stealing their coin. Whichever way you do it, you need a wallet and it needs to be secure. Xapo made the Wallstreet Journal when their vault was announced as being the best cold storage BTC vault out there to date.
In the short time I’ve been in the world of bitcoin, it’s trading value in relation to the US currency has gone from $1,300 USD to $935 USD to $1,700 USD and as of the time of this writing, seems to be holding around the final value there. This price tag is making the digital currency very attractive to traders and investors alike, however, like any investment, it goes up and down. One realization I have come to, is that if you make a BTC pure-play as I am doing, you don’t have to worry about the value going up and down. It’s like using the currency of another country in that country. The only concern is when you bring that currency home and expect to exchange it back into your own currency. Even then however, the only real concern surrounds big purchases. I’ve known people who went down to the US to buy cars because even with exchange and duties at customs coming home to Canada, the car was still cheaper than getting it off the lot in town. Sometimes the US currency exchange rate means selling services to US customers actually earns me more money at par than if I changed my price to reflect the same value in US currency. This up and down will happen between the bitcoin digital currency and fiat money that you currently have in your leather wallet or purse. But as long as BTC is earned purely by effort and purchases stay in the BTC world of commerce, the trading value is of no consequence beyond how much you can buy with it at any given time.
My aim here at FCS is to offer my services via BTC basically at par for now. If my network fee charges get too high I’ll have to add a percentage to cover that, same as if Paypal fees get too high having to adjust prices to cover that. But barring such demands, FCS will endeavor to offer available Time Blocks via BTC for the same price you’d otherwise pay with your own currency. If you too are engaged in a BTC pure-play, you won’t notice much beyond a slight up and down as BTC keeps pace. FCS is not the only company in town where you can keep everything in the BTC world. Check out my other article where I found several other businesses where you can pay for their services using BTC as well. It’s a whole new world . . . to borrow a line from Disney.