bitpay real world bitcoin payments

BitPay, a cryptocurrency payment provider, processed $1 billion in bitcoin and crypto payments in 2018.

Despite the slump in bitcoin price, BitPay topped the $1 billion figure for the second year running. The company also reported a new record for transaction fee revenue.

In a press release, BitPay’s co-founder and CEO Stephen Pair said:

“To process over a $1 Billion for a second year in a row despite Bitcoin’s large price drop shows that Bitcoin is being used to solve real pain points around the world.”

It seems the bear market hasn’t killed demand for real-world cryptocurrency payments.

What is BitPay?

BitPay is a bitcoin payment processor, allowing businesses and vendors to accept cryptocurrency around the world. BitPay facilitates crypto payments in stores, online, and via email billing.

Virgin Galactic uses BitPay to accept bitcoin down-payments on space flights, and Shopify integrated BitPay’s processor, allowing online vendors to accept bitcoin.

BitPay is rooted in bitcoin payments, but also supports Bitcoin Cash and stable coins from Circle, Gemini, and Paxos. Further, the company operates a business-to-business (B2B) service. 

Helping Ohioans pay tax in bitcoin

BitPay made headlines earlier this year by partnering with the State of Ohio. The integration allows businesses to pay taxes in bitcoin, with support for individual taxpayers to follow.

The partnership helped propel BitPay’s B2B service to 255% growth last year. Additional customers include law firms, data center providers, and IT vendors.

“BitPay’s B2B business continues to grow rapidly as our solution is cheaper and quicker than a bank wire from most regions of the world,” Pair said. 

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Bitcoin payments startup BitPay has raised $40 million in a Series B funding round that included iconic Silicon Valley venture capital firm Menlo Ventures.

The Atlanta-based company, which processes cryptocurrency payments for merchants, had originally announced the funding round in December. The firm had sought to raise $30 million but ultimately expanded the target to $40 million in response to “high demand,” BitPay CEO Stephen Pair said in an interview with tech news outlet Recode.

The funding round was led by Aquiline Technology Growth, and though not as large as some others seen in the cryptocurrency space in recent months, it was BitPay’s most lucrative funding round to date.

Pair said that BitPay has been profitable for the past 18 months, reducing the amount of funding the firm needs to cover its operating costs and also finance expansion.

It was also a landmark investment for Menlo, which was founded in 1976 and was one of Silicon Valley’s first venture capital firms. Prior to this funding round, Menlo had never invested in a blockchain startup, despite actively exploring them for a year and a half.

BitPay last raised capital through its Series A round in 2014, which saw the firm raise $30 million from a group of high-profile investors including Richard Branson, AME Cloud Ventures, and Founders Fund.

The company hopes to use its Series B funds to expand its operations into Asia, where it has recently inked a major partnership with South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb for cross-border remittance payments.

BitPay also plans to hire more engineers, employees who will likely be tasked with helping the firm increase its stable of cryptocurrencies beyond bitcoin — a move that the company first previewed last year.

The first fruits of this pivot materialized last week, when BitPay began allowing merchants to accept bitcoin cash payments, marking the first time in the company’s more than six year history that it has processed payments for a cryptocurrency other than bitcoin.

Featured image from BitPay

After its decision to stop accepting bitcoin for some transactions last week, Microsoft has reversed the decision, stating that it had ensured lower amounts of bitcoin are usable. This is apparently due to some sort of agreement between Microsoft and BitPay. Though the nature of the agreement is unknown.  The reason for the original decision was the high volatility and transaction fees on the bitcoin network. So one could infer that whatever the agreement is, it solves those issues somehow.

Microsoft’s decision good news for Steam?

In an earlier blog post, BitPay stated that Microsoft was using it to manage its bitcoin transactions. Bitpay is the same provider that Valve’s Steam used before it ceased its bitcoin transactions last year. Does this mean that Steam will be able to reach a similar agreement with BitPay and reinstate its own bitcoin-based transactions? Is the agreement not available to other BitPay customers? If it is the latter, what exactly is the agreement? Is it that Microsoft’s transactions are worth enough to BitPay that it is willing to lower its profit margin?

Fallout from the rapid-fire stance changes

The bitcoin community seems rather unsure of its opinion of Microsoft over its quick changes in stance towards bitcoin. With some users stating that this move was a power play and others thankful for the decision’s reversal.

Featured image from Wikipedia