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A bitcoin token, left, a litecoin token, centre, and an ethereum token.

Chris Ratcliffe

A Calgary renovations company says it is the first general contractor in Canada to allow customers to pay using cryptocurrencies.

As of March 1, Trademark Renovations Ltd. will accept bitcoin and ethereum as a method of payment for both renovation and custom build projects, owner Blair Foisy says.

"We believe that blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies will become an important part of everyday transactions for consumers," Mr. Foisy said in a statement, "and are happy to be able to offer this new payment alternative for our services."

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"The decision to start accepting bitcoin and ethereum is also indicative that they and other established cryptocurrencies have now developed into more broadly accepted forms of settlement."

Mr. Foisy said cryptocurrencies hold the potential to reduce currency exchange fluctuations that impact the price of materials and logistics, while peer-to-peer transactions could eliminate markups that also affect end costs.

Ontario's real estate regulatory body said last week it has serious concerns about whether brokerages in that province should allow transactions in cryptocurrencies. B.C.'s regulator has already banned real estate professionals from processing purchases in cryptocurrency.

Sources tell Reuters that South Korea's intelligence agency told lawmakers North Korean hackers could have been behind the $530-million theft of virtual coins from a Japanese cryptocurrency exchange last month. Reuters
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