It’s past the end of 2012 and it’s time to look at where Bitcoin is going and the increase in services that provide processing means that there’s a bigger space for people who want to trade BTC to move into. BitPay is an electronic processing service that enables merchants to take Bitcoins and turn them into currency—an important and necessary element of any economy.
In a recent funding round BitPay has taken $510,000 of outside investment to expand their services, which ware already quite expansive. Investors include Shakil Khan, Barry Silbert, Jimmy Furland, Roger Ver, and other angel investors—and staying in tune with culture, Roger Ver paid his contribution in Bitcoins.
As a processing service, BitPay made news in November when WordPress took them on to provide the ability to take Bitcoins for blogging. No doubt this has fueled the growth of BitPay’s transaction volume, which they report has been accelerating with average quarter-to-quarter growth of 50% over the past four quarters. With a reported $3 million in volume of orders processed, all in Bitcoins, this shows real interest and notable money to be made by entering into a market transacted by BTC.
“Bitcoin is an enabling technology,” says Anthony Gallippi, the co-founder and CEO of BitPay; “it is a global peer-to-peer payment network that will solve these problems and change the world. When businesses look at our service, they see the benefits are very compelling.”
BitPay comes with an API that enables transactions across numerous devices and media such as PC-to-Website, Phone-to-Phone, Phone-to-Card, and even Tablet-to-POS. With the addition of WordPress.com as a case study in the use of BTC for an established service, BitPay is doing a very good job right now of normalizing the use of Bitcoins in the tech sector. We’ve seen discussions of this currency popping up in unexpected places and even in circles normally dedicated to high finance.
It’s been a long game for Bitcoin, even as the media and world slowly begins to notice the usefulness of cryptocurrencies. Service providers such as BitPay bring us one step closer to having a science fiction like economy where people can easily pay one another just with their mobile devices. Websites are a good first step, but with Android getting lots of software enabling Bitcoin wallets.
Services that make it easy for merchants to take Bitcoin are just as important as those who make it easy for consumers to use them.
BitPay is working in a space that’s quickly growing, not just because of WordPress.com’s adoption of Bitcoin, but also as Reddit has made overtures toward taking BTC for subscriptions. They aren’t the only processor in the market, which also includes WalletBit and outfits like exchanges attempting to also act as transaction processors (such as MtGox.) An investment round of this extent shows a real commitment to working in that space.