Bitcoin Gives Canadian Banks a Run for Their Money: Q&A with The Bitcoin Embassy


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"[Bitcoin is] a real legitimate competitor to fiat money," explains Francis Pouliot, director of public affairs of the non-profit Bitcoin Embassy in Montréal. "It puts a huge competitive pressure on governments, for example, to manage their money supply more responsibly."

Since 2013, the Bitcoin Embassy has worked as an intermediary for Canadians new to the Bitcoin market: hosting classes for beginners, meet-ups for software developers, one-on-one discussions with potential entrepreneurs, and Montréal's first Bitcoin ATM.

After Canadian banks began shutting down the accounts of many Bitcoin-based businesses without explanation, Pouliot and the Bitcoin Embassy, along with Bitcoin Foundation Canada and Bitcoin Alliance, got their chance to defend Bitcoin to the Canadian Senate's Banking, Trade, and Commerce Committee as a part of their 2014 Study on the Use of Digital Currency.

"And it seems like they were quite favorable to Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies," says Pouliot. "The way we approached them was by showing them the potential that Bitcoin has for innovation and specifically innovation means new services, new platforms. These services and platforms are operated, created, and maintained by people, who are paid salaries and who pay taxes."

Produced by Joshua Swain

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