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New Bitcoin store advertised as Calgary’s first brick-and-mortar location

Bitcoin trader Dave Bradley concedes it likely seemed somewhat “shady” when he was meeting customers in Calgary coffee shops to swap Canadian currency for digital dollars.

Now sitting in his newly opened shop — billed as the first brick-and-mortar location in the city —Bradley says any potential suspicions didn’t stop customers from coming back again and again.

In fact, he claims a surging business and a desire to show accountability compelled him to open “BitcoinBrains,” a storefront in Kensington. And things have apparently only picked up since — with an estimated 80 per cent of customers coming back.

“The response has been really overwhelming,” he said.

Bitcoin users trumpet the so-called crypto-currency for its convenience, utility and anonymity. By trading on a peer-to-peer basis online, users avoid the fees associated with dealing in traditional money.

In July, media reported an Edmonton cafe was the first Alberta business to accept Bitcoin transactions.

At Bradley's store, the average client reportedly spends between $1,000 and $2,000.

Right now, he says most of his clients view Bitcoin as an investment opportunity. Though increasingly, he continues, customers want to spend it as currency.

“There’s going to come a time when it makes sense on a corporate level to handle payments between multi-national corporations,” Bradley said.

“If you had two trusted entities like an oil company in Calgary is buying pipeline parts off a company in China — and they’re willing to work in Bitcoin — that can only simplify things.”

His comments come on a day when Bitcoin hit a high of $1,000 on Tokyo-based exchange Mt. Gox.

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