Homeless in Vancouver: Bitcoin is coming to a coffee house near you

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      When I turned up yesterday afternoon at the Waves Coffee House on the corner of West Broadway Avenue and Spruce Street, I noticed the really large wrapped package standing about five feet tall under the big clock, but other than musing that it might be something like a new signboard, I ignored it.

      When I next looked up from whatever I was doing, the package was unwrapped and stood revealed—it looked like a video-arcade game machine: dark blue and emblazoned with a large, stylized, letter B in a red circle.

      It was a Bitcoin ATM and the fellow installing it was Drew Glover, with the company Bitnational.

      Another place to buy and sell bitcoins! Whatever that means

      Stanley Q. Woodvine

      Drew Glover’s business card referred to him as a “CBP”, a Certified Bitcoin Professional, one of two professional certifications offered by the CryptoCurrency Certification Consortium (C4).

      Glover referred to the machine he was installing as Bitnational’s eighth, saying that 20 percent of Waves Coffee Houses now had a Bitcoin ATM (otherwise called a Bitcoin kiosk) and that more Waves locations would be getting one and that all locations of the western Canadian coffee chain would, at some point, be accepting bitcoins in payment.

      The front page of Bitnational’s website declares that the company, together with the Waves Coffee House chain, is in the process of launching a network of Bitcoin ATMs across western Canada.

      Glover promised that the new bitcoin ATM at the Broadway and Spruce Waves would be up and running some time tomorrow (March 6) and held out the prospect of educational coffee klatches to help familiarize people with the Bitcoin digital currency.

      Including the new machine at Broadway and Spruce, Bitnational currently operates a total of eight Bitcoin ATMs: four in Alberta and four in Metro Vancouver.

      Vancouver’s first Bitcoin ATM—indeed the world’s first, as Drew Glover reminded me—was installed in the Waves Coffee House at 900 Howe Street in October of 2013 by the Vancover-based company Bitcoiniacs.

      In my March 5 conversation with Glover, I misconstrued “taking over” the Bitcoin ATM location at 900 Howe Street (currently owned and operated by Bitcoiniacs) with “taken over”.

      Glover has clarified that there were plans in the works for the 900 Howe Street ATM to become Bitnational’s ninth location but says that complications have arisen and those plans are “temporarily protracted”. 

      Stanley Q. Woodvine is a homeless resident of Vancouver who has worked in the past as an illustrator, graphic designer, and writer. Follow Stanley on Twitter at @sqwabb.



      David R. Allen

      Mar 7, 2015 at 7:20am

      Can we get a QR Code to tip Stanley? Great article.

      Christopher Concepcion

      Mar 11, 2015 at 3:17pm

      This is quite strange, we at Bitcoiniacs still operate the ATM machine at Waves Coffee at 900 Howe St. Please verify your facts and drop by. Thanks

      Stanley Q Woodvine

      Mar 11, 2015 at 6:12pm


      At the time the post was written the Bitnational website listed nine installed machines, including the 900 Howe Street location.

      I see today that Bitnational has removed that location.

      When I spoke to Drew Glover in person at the Waves location he made a specific point of telling me that Bitnational was operating the 900 Howe Street machine. He was unequivocal, basically saying that Bitnational had taken the operation of the machine over from the original company.

      When I wrote the post I was scrupulous to stick to the facts -- that BOTH Bitnational and Bitcoiniacs listed the 900 Howe machine on their respective websites.

      I will have to ask Mr. Glover to explain.

      Christopher Concepcion

      Mar 11, 2015 at 11:14pm

      I will be meeting Mr. Glover tomorrow. In the meantime it would be fair to ask him for the key of the ATM machine at 900 Howe or ask the people at 900 Howe. You may also ask him for pictures of the machines installed at those locations he claims. Would you be kind enough to issue a correction on your story? Thanks so much for publishing my comment and have a pleasant evening.

      Christopher Concepcion

      Mar 13, 2015 at 3:08pm

      Thanks so much for making the correction. Our meeting with Mr. Glover didn't push through as expected, but I am hopeful we can all chat over coffee. Bitcoin is a huge untapped market with the whole of Canada comprising only 0.3% of the global market. As advocated by Michael Patryn of Quadriga which is listing soon, Bitcoin advocates should work together to address the much bigger global market. We look forward to more widespread Bitcoin acceptance not just in Waves but in all major retail establishments.


      Mar 15, 2015 at 7:33am

      Keep it up Mr. Concepcion. We support you.