BitPay CEO Stephen Pair told Cointelegraph that his company will be adding support for altcoins beyond Bitcoin Cash to the payments giant.
Coins That “Work Well For Payments”
Pair chose not to say which coins, exactly, would be added. Besides Bitcoin and Ethereum, there are tens of popular coins which regularly see massive volume on exchanges. Merchants may have an interest in accepting them.
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.
People have long been able to pay with altcoins via various services. One of the most popular ways to accept alternatives to Bitcoin is Coinpayments.net, which currently supports more than 1,700 cryptocurrencies.
As cryptos become more popular in general, Bitcoin may not, in fact, be the most popular way to transact, although the Lightning Network could change all that.
Bitcoin by itself can be slow and expensive, compared to other cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin Cash, whose only difference is more space.
Pair also told the publication that Lightning Network support was a possibility moving forward.
The Lightning Network could easily become the most popular way for people to use cryptocurrency, although it’s far from the traditional way. Lightning Network, by design, bundles transactions together and moves them in batches, considering them settled by the channel that hosted them.
Other blockchains, like Dash for example, manage to be fast, decentralized, and cheap to use without creating “second layer” solutions like Lightning.
Some Bitcoin Cash proponents feel that second layers are inevitable, but that there was still room to broaden the size of the blockchain at the time of the fork in 2017. Which would mean Bitcoin itself could still make its blockchain bigger, if it wanted to.
Payments is an important realm for cryptocurrency. While the blockchain may have other uses, and some view certain assets like BTC as “digital gold,” processing payments in a fast, decentralized, transparent way is also a valuable offering.
Whoever is boss of payments, could be final boss of crypto. Currently, Bitcoin is far and away the leader.
BitPay is the leader as far as crypto payments go, processing as much as 25% of all merchant to customer transactions in 2019.
Increasingly, merchants are interested in using stablecoins. Pornhub recently began paying in Tether. One wonders what happens to all this interest when central banks such as the Federal Reserve begin issuing their own digital currencies.
Nevertheless, Tether sees more volume than BTC and most cryptos combined. It will likely be on the list of new currencies that merchants using BitPay can accept.
Soon “pay with BitPay” will mean a lot more than just BTC or BCH, and whether or not that will lead to increased adoption is unclear.