is a Canadian startup which is seeking to make it easy for members of the public to get hold of bitcoins. CoinTap will sell bitcoin gift cards around the world that will allow recipients to claim bitcoins by using the redemption code on the card.

We spoke to CoinTap's Ashley Fulks who told us that the company is "working with a large card distribution company to get the cards distributed through convenience stores". The gift cards are sold based on their fiat value, for example, $20. As for how many bitcoins recipients will be able to redeem, we were told that people will be able to "redeem their card for bitcoins at a competitive rate".

At launch, CoinTap will only offer bitcoin gift cards but it will "also create the ability to purchase other virtual currencies as they become popular, such as litecoins and ripples."

Ashley has also described how operating in Canada is helpful to a digital currency business like CoinTap: "Canada is very virtual currency friendly. The Royal Canadian mint has created their own virtual money called MintChip. Canada is the first country in the world to have their own digital issued currency.

"Canada legally looks at bitcoins as a commodity like wheat or oil. When someone purchases a unit of bitcoin commodity, tax (i.e. Government Service Tax @ 5%) is added to the sale for Canadians. CoinTap is going to charge taxes for bitcoin sales for Canadians only. That makes Revenue Canada happy and our government as they are getting their piece of the pie. As with anything else, selling to the US for example would be tax exempt."

We asked how CoinTap would procure its supply of bitcoin, and Ashley replied, "We have a pool of bitcoins to start but most of them will be purchased from a local Canadian exchange as we need them."

According to CoinTap's website, the service will launch in just over a month, but you can sign up at the site to get email updates on what's happening.

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