Now there's a simple, easy way to buy Bitcoins -- the hot, new cyber currency that's fast changing how people shop, trade and even pay their bills.
CoinTap is the creation of Bitcoin Ventures, Inc., a local virtual currency software development company that offers smart solutions for Bitcoin e-commerce.
The product is a gift card which streamlines an otherwise tricky and time-consuming process of trading your money on a market for Bitcoins, says the company's representative and Bitcoin consultant Ashley Fulks.
"Buying Bitcoins are now as uncomplicated as buying a loaf of bread," says Fulks.
"Simply go to the store and buy a CoinTap card. Then go online, redeem your card on our website and, presto, you've got Bitcoins."
A $50 gift card is redeemable for 50 dollars in credit, which can then be used to purchase Bitcoins at a competitive rate through the company's website.
The current value of 1 Bitcoin is $121 US on Mt.Gox.com exchange or $97 CDN on CaVirtex.ca.
The Bitcoin is the best-performing currency in the world, says Fulks.
"Whereas governments and banks set the values of fiat currencies based on how they want their economies to perform, the Bitcoin is decentralized and runs on a peer-to-peer network, so its value can't be regulated by a small group of people."
With Bitcoins, there's no inflation. It's all math. There will only ever be 21,000,000 in circulation, explains Fulks.
"Since the Bitcoins value is determined purely by the market, it shows a different picture of what other currencies are worth."
Currently, governments and financial institutions worldwide have varying definitions of what Bitcoins are.
While the Government of Canada views Bitcoins as a tradable commodity, but not a currency, Germany recently ruled that the Bitcoin is "private money" and therefore taxable, just like regular money.
So if Bitcoins are so cutting edge, what can you do with them?
"They can be saved as an investment; traded for other valuable currencies such as Euros, Rubles, US dollars, Yen, Litecoins, Feathercoins - which are just two of the many new virtual currencies cropping up," says Fulks.
"You can also use Bitcoins to purchase any type of good or service from any vendor willing to accept Bitcoins."
There's already a huge community online for shopping with Bitcoin, including bitcoinstore.com - an Amazon-style store that only deals in Bitcoin. Several smart-phone apps, like blockchain.info, offer portable wallets and easy point-of-sale systems for vendors to make transactions easy, Fulks adds.
Fulks says some early-adopters are now living exclusively off of Bitcoins.
"They buy their groceries and even pay their rent with the help of online companies like billpayforcoins.com, who will pay your bills in fiat currency in exchange for Bitcoins," says Fulks.
Bitcoin Ventures Inc. is actively securing global partnerships, "to help bring Bitcoins to the world," says Fulks.
"The Bitcoin community is very supportive of emerging technologies and has contacted us with open arms. I know a lot of people want to make it easy to get Bitcoins and CoinTap is here to help."