Bitcoin ATM manufacturer, BitAccess, announced today that their customers can buy bitcoins at 6,000 stores across Canada, using [Flexepin](https://www.bitaccess.co/flexepin/) paper vouchers.
Bitcoin ATM manufacturer, BitAccess, announced today that their customers can buy bitcoins at 6,000 stores across Canada, using Flexepin paper vouchers.
The private and convenient vouchers come in denominations of $10, $30, $50, $100 or $250 Canadian dollars, and can be purchased with cash or a debit card.
Flexepin vouchers are printed at the time of purchase in the form of a receipt, much like a gift card. The bitcoins are made available within 60 seconds of purchase.
The purchase can be made anonymously, but users have to have a BitAccess web account to redeem their coins, and there is a purchase limit of $250 worth of the cryptocurrency each day. To redeem a voucher, all one has to do is log into the BitAccess website and type in the code printed on the voucher.
Headquartered in Ottawa, Ontario, BitAccess was founded in November 2013 as a privately held company. Their main product is one of the highest-quality Bitcoin Automatic Teller Machines (BTMs) in the world, they are installed on three different continents today, in over a dozen different countries.
“A Flexepin Cash Top-Up Voucher is a prepaid voucher that lets you top-up your accounts to make secure, hassle-free online payments. Because Flexepin are prepaid, the risk of having your identity and banking information exposed online is eliminated.”
There are no fees or charges for typical Flexepin use, which should keep the price very close to market rates for buying bitcoin. There are, however, two penalty fees listed on the Flexepin website; a $4 monthly charge for vouchers that have not been redeemed before their “Use By” date, and a $30 fee when requesting refunds after 14 days.
According to the BitAccess map, the 6,000 locations are spread across the country, and are very brand-diverse. Gas stations, cellphone retailers, grocery stores, bars, mini-marts, and even campus bookstores are among them.
Some city centers, like Toronto, have an abundance of stores where you can use the service. Browsing the store locator map on their website demonstrates how easy it now is for most Canadians to purchase bitcoins at a fair price.
The service provider behind Flexepin is Flexewallet Pty Ltd, a subsidiary of global software technology and systems integration provider the Novatti Group, which has many companies in their portfolio from both inside and outside the fintech space.
Flexewallet holds an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL) to provide Non-Cash Payment services, and is registered with the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC).
The company’s focus is providing socially responsible payment options for expatriates and migrants, with operations in over 130 countries. “Flexewallet is a payments solution designed for the remittance of funds for purposeful use,” states the company.
“From helping people stay connected through mobile recharge to facilitating education through school fee payments, Flexewallet services are built for the global community.”
— – Flexewallet
Today’s BitAccess news follows on the heels of Decentral’s bitcoin gift card announcement in February. Technically the first of it’s kind in Canada, Decentral’s plastic version of a bitcoin voucher has been in testing since 2014, under the name Simple Coin Card, and looks like a typical gift card sold in store displays.
Decentral announced that the card will be available across Canada in denominations of $20, $50, and $100, at an undisclosed number of local retail stores. As with Flexepin, after buying them you simply redeem your bitcoins via a website.
Decentral also lists BitAccess as one of their partners. Decentral’s CEO, Anthony di Iorio, has a long history of working with the company, and has a BitAccess Bitcoin ATM in the company’s main office in Toronto.
“Decentral Bitcoin Cards are launching in selected provinces later this month, and will be available nationwide before the summer. Decentral expects to have Bitcoin, Ethereum and other select digital currency cards available for purchase in thousands of retail locations by the end of the year.”
— – Decentral
Although Flexepin is the first major deployment of in-store physical bitcoin purchases at thousands of retail locations in North America, the idea of gift vouchers and cards has been doing well in and around Asia for at least a year.
Coinplug’s OkBitCard is the largest bitcoin gift card provider, with a reported 24,000 merchant locations around Southeast Asia. Bitcoins can also be purchased by store voucher in at least 5,000 convenience stores in Taiwan. In Turkey, they have the BitUp card, which is reportedly sold at 300 locations across their country.
The only serious contender in North America is Liberty X, which advertises the ability to buy bitcoins with cash at merchants in over 19,000 retail locations in the USA. Their system isn’t quite the same as a sales voucher though, it’s dependent on using their smartphone app to do the purchase, which has multiple tiers of user verifications. It isn’t at all anonymous and only allows you to buy more bitcoin with more identification, similar to how Coinbase and Circle do theirs. Even still, it can be very useful for Americans who have cash and need bitcoins fast but don’t have a BTM in their area.