BitPay, the leading provider of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency payment services, is one of the earliest to have set foot in the industry. Starting in 2011, BitPay has grown to be a leading BTC payment service provider. The company is estimated to handle over a billion dollars in payment volume.
Now, the company will supposedly add support for more cryptocurrencies with the possibility of integration with the lightning network.
In an interview with crypto media outlet Cointelegraph, Stephen Pair, CEO of BitPay, revealed the aforementioned news adding the company is focused on adding the top-performing blockchains with the highest market capitalization. He said:
“I’m not going to specifically name which ones we will add, but you can look at CoinMarketCap to see all the top blockchains and come up with good guesses in what we are interested in. We are looking at cryptocurrencies that have adoption and work well for payments. We also might add some smaller ones that aren’t as adopted, but are doing something innovative around payments.”
BitPay is known for accepting Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Ether (ETH) for online and in-store payments for some of the major enterprises like AT&T and Microsoft. The platform has very recently added the support for XRP, which according to Pair is “constantly” asked about. BitPay merchants everywhere are now able to accept XRP without any additional integration required.
Pair added that the Lightning Network is high on our list for what we are considering adding to the platform.” The Lightning Network adds an additional layer to Bitcoin’s blockchain, enabling users to create payment channels between any two parties on that extra layer. This ensures instant transactions, with extremely low or even non-existent fees. Pair explained:
“The whole idea of the Lightning Network is to allow payments to happen off the blockchain so they don’t take up space and storage, letting them achieve higher scalability.”
CEO shuns controversies
Despite all the success, the company has often been criticized on the basis of various controversies related to the platform. The platform has been accused of censoring transactions on a few occasions.
In August 2019, NGO Amazon Watch received $100,000 as a donation to aid with the Amazon forest fires, the donation was not processed by BitPay. The company stated that Ngo had failed to meet BitPay’s internal standards.
Just a few weeks after the incident, Hong Kong Free Press (HKFP) also experienced similar occurrences where BitPay suspended donations of Bitcoin to their platform because of providing uncensored reports and happenings in the area.
BitPay has had a bad reputation in the cryptocurrency world due to centralized control of decentralized Bitcoin funds-as a payments processor. The above-mentioned events further sparked a heavy backlash from the crypto community.
However, Pair clarified that the Hong Kong Free Press didn’t have their bank account set up correctly and that there were additional steps needed to be taken before transactions could be made. He said:
“We have a tiered system at BitPay that starts with minimal documentation and then more documentation along the way. Often times things like this to happen because companies haven’t gone through verifications or gotten approved for higher tiers.”
He defended these actions by BitPay, stating that the company takes regulations very seriously and that the company is fully compliant with U.S. regulations. He claimed that being compliant in the U.S. is the main reason merchants choose to use BitPay over other service providers. “Some competitors haven’t thought through the full payment experience from a merchant’s perspective,” he said.
Support for any bitcoin wallet
Besides this, BitPay announced on Feb. 4 that the company will soon allow invoices to be paid from any Bitcoin wallet or exchange. According to pair, the decision to allow any Bitcoin wallet was a result of merchant feedback. He said:
“BitPay’s customers want to support all the Bitcoin wallets, just like they want to support all cryptocurrencies for payments. The company has decided to re-enable support for all wallets, which is referred to as plain vanilla peer-to-peer transactions.”
A phased rollout to support all Bitcoin wallets has already begun. Once the implementation is successful, merchants would be able to decide which wallets they will accept payments from, while consumers would be able to use any wallet to make purchases from those merchants. He further noted that the process would be automated, explaining:
“We are going to automate the whole process for merchants since we already have experience doing this already. It’s very important for merchants to support all Bitcoin wallets, as this will greatly expand their potential to grow sales and acquire new customers.”