The first time Ryan Johnson bought Bitcoins — an emerging digital currency that isn't controlled by any authority such as a central bank — was with a pocket full of cash from a stranger he had met online.
"It was almost like a sketchy drug deal," recalls the 31-year-old Vancouver resident.
Since that first transaction in January, Johnson has been exchanging his Canadian cash for digital currency at Bitcoiniacs, a physical store in Vancouver that acts like a Bitcoin broker.
"It's just much more comfortable to go sit down in an office at a brick-and-mortar building with a professional that knows a lot about Bitcoins, do a professional transaction and get a receipt for it," says Johnson. "It's reassuring."
Soon, Johnson and other Canadian Bitcoin enthusiasts will be able to exchange Canadian cash for the digital currency through a kiosk that's similar to an ATM.
(Hat tip to NP Complete)