An organization called The Last Door Recovery Society has become the first charity in BC to accept bitcoins.
Since launching a bitcoin wallet in December, the New Westminster-based charity says it has received two donations in the digital currency. Clients can also use bitcoins to pay for services there, although that hasn't happened yet.
According to Matt Kalenuik, who spearheaded the initiative, the move was designed to reduce barriers and make it as simple as possible for supporters to back Last Door.
"There's a particular culture that is big into bitcoin," Kalenuik told the New West News Leader. "They want to participate in the grassroots movement of bitcoin.
When Last Door reached out to the Canada Revenue Agency to get clarification on tax implications of accepting bitcoins, the government said the digital currency has no value until converted into traditional Canadian currency; therefore, if a donor requests a tax receipt, the charity must cash out the bitcoins immediately. However, Last Door says it would prefer to keep the bitcoins in its digital wallet with the hope that the currency increases in value.
"People are starting to pay attention to bitcoin," Kalenuik told the New West News Leader. "We believe in it."