BitPay is one of the most popular Bitcoin payment processing companies in the world. Today, they announced support for more cryptocurrencies, starting with implementing Bitcoin Cash to their payment platform and debit cards.
BitPay is a point-of-sale company that allows traditional businesses to accept Bitcoin. They provide an easy to use means for users to pay with the popular digital currency, which is especially attractive to businesses that have customer bases that may not be that crypto-literate. BitPay also automatically converts the Bitcoin to the business’s local currency, allowing for the firm to avoid the roller coaster that is Bitcoin’s price volatility and having to deal with setting up secure wallets to store their Bitcoin income. The company also provides software wallets for users and Bitcoin debit cards that can be used in the real world.
Businesses Look for Alternatives as Fees Rise
Over the past year, fees on the Bitcoin network have skyrocketed. The currency that once had “low fees” as one of their primary incentives to use, has seen average fees go to around $4 to send a transaction with a timely confirmation. During periods of peak use, fees have been seen to go as high as $20 for a simple one input/one output transaction. This is not only due to more users on the network, but also the rising price of Bitcoin. Those satoshis you were paying for fees on a similarly sized transaction a year ago are now worth 17x as much.
These fees have caused some companies that have been accepting Bitcoin for years to stop. The biggest one in recent news was Steam, the popular gaming platform for PC gamers. They had been accepting Bitcoin via BitPay since April of 2016, but last week decided to remove Bitcoin from the list of accepted payment methods citing “significant increase in the fees to process transactions on the Bitcoin network.” as the reason for the removal.
BitPay Announces Altcoin Support
Today, BitPay announced plans to support payments across multiple blockchains, starting with Bitcoin Cash (BCH). Bitcoin Cash is a fork of Bitcoin that was created back in August of this year. They boast a higher block size and lower fees, as with the fork they upped the block size to 8MB from Bitcoin’s 1MB. BitPay plans on fully activating the change before the end of the year.
The announcement was made via BitPay’s blog, which explained their mindset for the decision. Since opening their doors in 2011, BitPay has processed more than $1 billion in payments to date. From the blog post:
We’ve received repeated requests from merchants and users over the years to support additional blockchain payment methods. Many of the top alternative cryptocurrencies’ blockchains make their own innovations on the features which have made Bitcoin great for payments. These range from faster transaction confirmations to greater payment privacy
They also made clear that they are not abandoning Bitcoin and will still dedicate resources to developing better systems for Bitcoin payments. Along with this, they’ve stated that along with payments, Bitcoin Cash will be an option for people looking to top up their BitPay Visa debit cards, as well as adding full Bitcoin Cash support to their software wallets.
What do you think about the addition of altcoins? Do you use BitPay? Do you plan to use the added features? Let us know in the comments below!
Images courtesy of BitPay, BitInfoCharts, Shutterstock