BitPay has always been a bitcoin-first company since 2011 which is not entirely surprising since bitcoin has been the backbone of BitPay’s businesses and is almost fully responsible for the great reputation it has built over the years. Despite the growing number of competing services, BitPay is still considered to be the best, most reliable and most convenient way of dealing with cryptocurrency (BTC) payments both online and offline.
These days, cryptocurrency is about so much more than Bitcoin, with a number of altcoins gaining a lot of traction just like bitcoin did, and now even BitPay has acknowledged this fact. In many ways, this trend is astounding especially considering the large number of people who have often used these altcoins to test run the future functionalities of bitcoin.
On December 15th, BitPay officially announced that it will begin processing payments for more than one blockchain and bitcoin cash (BCH) is the first cryptocurrency they are going to utilize. The announcement that was made via their official blog also pointed out that the decision was partially motivated by the idea that ‘bitcoin blockchain could make payments faster, safer, and more efficient than ever before.’ However, growing merchant demands for the inclusion of altcoins in BitPay’s system was the biggest nudge towards the highly-anticipated decision.
“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. Demand for Bitcoin transactions is outstripping capacity, causing miner fees to rise on the Bitcoin network,” Bitpay’s announcement read. “With multiple blockchain payment options, our merchants’ customers will be able to choose one with features, confirmation times, and miner fee levels that work for them.”
The company will still support bitcoin regardless of any of these developments citing the fact that the original Bitcoin blockchain was what inspired the creation of altcoins. Thus, developmental efforts being made to support bitcoin payments are still a core priority at BitPay.
The announcement also revealed that the first step towards BCH integration would start with BitPay’s Visa card loads. In early 2018, there will be a gradual transition to using BCH invoices as the default BitPay invoice – customers will still be allowed to use the bitcoin core invoices if they want to.