There are all kinds of cryptocurrencies, and cryptocurrency services out there. Some have wallets, some have exchanges. Some are really good while others are kind of shady.
However, when it comes to reliability and trust, a few services do stand out due to their popularity in the cryptocurrency space. One of such services happens to be Bitpay, which by many is regarded as a popular cryptocurrency solution
What is Bitpay?
Bitpay is a bitcoin payment service provider which provides its services in countries all over the world. The company provides different services to help its users, with its primary service being payment facilitation, where it allows merchants to accept Bitcoin as a payment method.
Bitpay makes this possible by first processing the transaction in Bitcoin for the participating merchant, after which it converts those Bitcoin to transfer them to the merchant in a currency of their choosing.
In addition to this, Bitpay also has a “Payroll API” where some employees can choose to actually be paid in Bitcoins for their salaries. Bitpay also has a web, iOS and Android apps, and it has worked to make a Facebook app that can help users find other users who are selling Bitcoins, this is a great feature because it is great for beginners who are just starting out, they can jump into the cryptocurrency market without a lot of issues, minimal complexity and maximum simplicity.
One of the things that make Bitpay a great service is that it can connect tons of Bitcoin users for buying Bitcoin and selling Bitcoin and can convert the currencies for wider use. Bitpay lets you do online payments, in-store payments, donations, and even mobile app payments for people using Bitcoin or Bitcoin Cash.
Where did Bitpay come from?
Bitpay was founded by Tony Gallippi and Stephan Pair in May 2011. The company has established itself with headquarters set up in Atlanta, Georgia in the United States. Bitpay was founded not long after Bitcoin’s introduction to the world, where the company was able to see Bitcoin’s high growth potential and mobilized to act on the potential. The company wanted to start a service that could be used all across the world to facilitate Bitcoin payments, it stuck to that vision and has found quite a bit of success.
BitPay’s initial goal was to focus in on and enable some “mobile checkout services”. Their idea was to enable these services for companies that were interested in accepting Bitcoin. The company found initial interest from market participants, it had gained at least 100 users and received its first major partnership in 2012 with WordPress.
By the time that September of 2012 rolled around, Bitpay had gotten 1,000 merchants on board with its services. By 2014, just two years later, Bitpay had announced that it had over 12,000 merchants who had signed up for its service. Soon after, startups and even established companies and groups like the Sacramento Kings of NBA Basketball, and the mobile game developers of Zynga started accepting Bitcoin by using Bitpay as the payment processor.
Bitpay found that it was becoming more official.
In 2015, they rolled out another product to the public. Bitpay began its first “Bitpay Visa Prepaid Debit Card”. The company marketed the product by stating “load dollars using your bitcoin wallet, spend anywhere, the BitPay card is one of the fastest ways to turn your Bitcoin into dollars.”
This was a debit card for Bitpay users to utilize across the United States. By the time 2018 came around, Bitpay announced that it would now fully accept Bitcoin Cash, and the cryptocurrency could be used through the company’s Bitpay card.
Bitpay was one of the pioneers of this sort of debit card and others would shortly follow into this space as well, allowing more use of cryptocurrency in the real world.
Bitpay certainly has a long history, and has done a lot since it initially started in 2011. It has wasted no time in making big strides to make its services bigger and more efficient over the years. The timeline of events can be found on the About page at BitPay.
Buying with Bitpay
So Bitpay is great for people to buy and sell with Bitcoin and Bitcoin cash, but how do you actually do this?
If you want to buy using Bitpay, the first thing you should do is get a cryptocurrency wallet that uses either Bitcoin or Bitcoin Cash. Bitpay actually has its own wallet app, so if you’d like to stick to its official wallet, you can go and get the Bitpay Wallet. However, if you don’t want to use that one, there are a bunch of compatible wallets that you can use with Bitpay.
- Bitpay Wallet
- Bitcoin Core
- BRD (Bread) Wallet
Bitcoin Cash Wallets:
- Bitpay Wallet
- Electron Cash
After you have a wallet, you’ll need to get either Bitcoin, or Bitcoin Cash in your wallet. You can get these cryptocurrencies from various exchanges all over the web. If you live in the United States and have the Bitpay app, you can easily use the Coinbase exchange to get some coins.
After you’ve got your wallet and your coins, you’ll need to move some of your coins into the wallet you’re going to use for spending. The nice thing about BitPay is that you won’t need to put in any sensitive information from any cards. The payment you’ll be making will just go through the app.
There are a couple ways that you can actually make the transaction through Bitpay.
You can make these transactions by scanning a QR code, opening up your wallet, or sending the payment manually using a URL. All of these can be done through the wallet app, so it’s suggested to go forward with their official wallet for easier and smoother transactions.
If you choose to scan a QR code, it’s fairly simple. This is best if your main wallet is on a different device entirely. After scanning it, you can access the payment section for your wallet and you can go about your own operations as usual.
Open the Wallet:
If the wallet is already on your device, you might as well just open it up there. All you need to do is, go in and check your invoice, and make sure everything is correct. Then you just need to confirm the transaction!
If you wish to just do your payment manually, then you can certainly do that. All you need to do is to make a manual payment, copy the URL that shows up in your invoice, and then paste it into the wallet’s “Send” page. After looking through the payment details and confirming that all details are as they should be, you can move forward with the transaction.
Selling with Bitpay
Selling with Bitpay can be done both online and in-store. The main options to set up for selling with Bitpay are done through things such as placing “payment buttons”, having a hosted catalog payment option, shopping cart-like plugins, or even other types of integrated solutions.
If you choose to go with the payment button, you’ll first need to log in, and once that’s done, you’ll want to navigate to the “Payment Tools” section, From there, you’ll go to “Payment Buttons”. Once you’re there, you can put in the pertinent information such as your default price, your currency, and the size of the button you’d like to place on your dashboard. When the button is placed properly, users will be able to click it and it will bring them right to the page to purchase from you.
There’s also the option to have a “hosted catalog” button on your dashboard. To create a hosted catalog button through your merchant dashboard, you’ll need to go into your “Payment Tools” section again, and this time you’ll go to the “Hosted Catalog” section instead of the “Payment Buttons” section. The catalog is useful for users who sell things, and may need to deal with shipping and handling related fees and costs. Here you can put in your item cost, the shipping and handling, the tax, and all of those other details that are helpful to you as a seller.
Alternatively, there are lots of other integrated solutions that users can use to connect with Bitpay accounts for those transactions. Here are a couple different types of solutions that you can use along with Bitpay:
Integrated solutions work by simply connecting your Bitpay account these services.
- 3D Cart
Open Source Plugins:
Plug-ins to help work with other e-commerce websites.
- Zen Cart
Point of Sale:
Different point of sale systems for merchants to use.
- Soft Touch
- Visual Touch
- New West Technologies
Billing & Accounting:
Bitpay offer Billing tools for merchants so they can offer Bitcoin as a payment option to customers.
- Host Bill
- Invoice Ninja
These help enable Bitcoin as a form of contribution to donations.
- Nation Builder
- Targeted Victory
Programming languages code libraries for users to work with.
- Android SDK
- iOS SDK
- Python 2 and Python 3
- C and C Sharp
If you’d like to sell products and services in-store instead of providing your services and payment options online, you can use BitPay’s app called BitPay Checkout. It can be found both on the app store for iOS devices, and on the Google play store for Android devices! The app works simply by putting in an amount, the order number, and if it’s being used, the gratuity amount. After that, your customer can then scan the newly generated QR code from the app. You can also pair the Bitpay Checkout app with your merchant account from Bitpay. You can set it up by locating your Payment tools section, and going into the Point of Sales tab.
If you can’t work with an app and you’d rather just use the web, the team at Bitpay has definitely got you covered there too. The company has a web-based “Quick Checkout” that works just like BitPay’s checkout, but instead, you can use it right from your own computer.
These are all several tools that merchants can use to start accepting Bitcoin as a mode of payment for their goods or services. With such a wide variety of tools and options for merchants, they have a number of ways to expand their business opportunities.
Just like any other service out there, Bitpay has some fees that you’ll have to pay to utilize their service. The main fees you’ll be dealing with when it comes to Bitpay is the miner fee and the network cost fee. There is also the possibility of refund issues from merchants, and that can sort of be like a fee as well, so it’s good to keep in mind.
The miner fee, is a fee tied in with Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash mining. This fee comes into play because of the use of computing power and the processing of the transaction. This computing power usually gets used during transactions that take place on Bitcoin networks. These fees can’t be refunded, and they also vary depending on the order size and other various factors.
The other major fee you need to think about, is the Network Cost fees. The network cost fees are usually included in the invoice, and this tends to go hand in hand with the miner fees for Bitcoin, and Bitcoin cash. Both of these fees vary due to the different possible sizes of the orders.
Bitpay also has a flat 1% settlement charge or transaction fee.
What else can Bitpay do?
Bitpay has a lot of services for all of its users to work with. You can buy and sell, have access to a helpful wallet, and have access to a lot of other great tools if you are playing the role of a merchant, but they do much more than that.
For users that are “Business and Enterprise” merchants, they can have settlement payments happen every single (business) day. Bitpay also “collects and deposits all payments processed from the previous business day directly to your bank or bitcoin wallet” if your settings are set to do so. Bitpay is also helpful in that they protect merchant users by “maintaining enterprise-level legal and compliance standards.” And these are just a few of the additional features that Bitpay has to offer to its users.
As far as settlements go, settlements are supported with eight different currencies, and they can also do direct bank deposits in 38 other countries as well. However, without direct deposits, the supported list of regions becomes as large as 240 countries.
Other interesting features that Bitpay has is that they have Multi-user login access, Email Support, Automatic Payment Exception Handling, Quickbooks IIF Download, Ecommerce, Billing, Donation, and Retail Payment Tools.
Bitpay can also help you make invoices and even let you work with testing for Bitpay. Testing works through their Testnet, which will have a separate account from your Bitpay account. This includes getting a separate wallet and separate coins, all referred to as “Testnet wallet” and “Testnet coins”. The testing is for transactions and to determine how they work within Bitpay.
Why is Bitpay a good option?
Bitpay is useful for a lot of aspects and situations, but what really makes Bitpay a good choice for you to work with? After all, you don’t want to give just anyone your business, and if you’re going to work with Bitpay, you want to make sure you’re getting the most out of it.
Bitpay is great because it’s very simple and easy to use. This is great for those users who are still beginners or don’t actually have a lot of knowledge about Bitcoin or cryptocurrencies. Being so easy-to-use works both ways for Bitpay, at one hand, it allows buyers to process their payment the same way they are used to without having to go through intricate processes. While it also lets merchants receive the payment directly in their bank accounts in fiat without having to go through the procedure of converting cryptocurrency to fiat and vice versa – that too multiple times at once.
Bitpay also has very good security to keep all of its users as safe as they can. Part of their security measures is the ability to set a time window for the transactions to take place. This helps cut down on scammers and theft, while still giving your own funds a significant amount of protection.
Their large collection of integrated solutions makes adding relevant buttons and carts to your websites or pages a very easy process. Many of these options can simply just be plugged in for use, so you don’t require a lot of expertise with these to get them set up – which is yet another great feature especially for those who are getting started with little knowledge on the subject.
What makes Bitpay a bad option?
Bitpay has a lot of positives, but it’s not perfect. Bitpay has its flaws and problems that can be a big issue for certain people depending on what their needs are.
Bitpay is pretty simple, but all of its additional features and extra items can also come off as overwhelming to some users. One of the very positive pieces of Bitpay can also be seen as a negative if you don’t like a lot of extra elements with your applications.
Bitpay also had a phishing attack that happened against their CEO, Stephan Pair, that occurred in September of 2015. This attack resulted in the loss of about 5,000 Bitcoins. While that was quite a few years ago and things have been quiet since, it can still be seen as a big red flag to a lot of people. Although, it is prudent to note that it was against the CEO of the company and not necessarily against the service itself.
However, an attack like this could still happen in the future with the people that run any service in which you work with, Bitpay or other services. Therefore, while it’s good to look up what problems a company has faced earlier, the present state of the company speaks more to its caliber and merit than its past does.
In addition to its attacks, some various other issues came up over its wallets. Involving the BTC1 Hard fork, which eventually would fail, it has caused a lot of users to become untrusting towards BitPay’s wallets. While you can look into other wallet options, it is a little unsettling to know that BitPay’s official wallets may not be as safe and trusted as people want them to be.
So is Bitpay worth it?
Bitpay has a lot of great features, but it’s also had a couple of issues in the past that can make it feel a little less safe, despite its claims for good security. Still, Bitpay can fit a lot of needs of some individuals, so it’s worth looking into, especially if you’re a merchant.
Bitpay has tons of features best meant for those who are merchants and would like to accept Bitcoin as a form of payment for their own goods and services. The company has lots of extra features and helps users get started quite easily with little effort. It’s also great for beginners due to its very simple interface and tools that help do most of the difficult stuff for its users.
Bitpay has a wide variety of wallets that work along with Bitpay, so it’s fairly easy to find a wallet you like and be able to use it with Bitpay. However, it’s still worth noting that BitPay’s wallets are not as trusted as they once were, so you should keep that in mind when searching for your new wallet.
Bitpay is definitely a great service for merchants to use. With cryptocurrencies becoming more widely accepted, it’s not a bad idea to offer Bitcoin as a type of payment method for your business, and Bitpay can help you do that. It’s a helpful system for those who aren’t extremely knowledgeable on cryptocurrencies, but have enough knowledge to get started with cryptocurrency basics. Bitpay is at least worth looking into if you’re interested in using Bitcoin as a form of payment.