CEO of BitPay, Stephen Pair has said that the platform would shortly enhance support for more cryptocurrencies, with a possible Lighting Network integration.
Pair did not mention precisely, which cryptos would be in the platform next, but he said that there’s a priority on the top-performing blockchains with the biggest market capitalization.
I won’t mention the ones we will add, but you can check CoinMarketCap to see all the top blockchains and take a guess in what we are attracted to. We are considering cryptocurrencies that have adoption, and those that are compatible with payments. We might also add some lesser ones that aren’t really adopted; overall, we are being creative about payments.
BitPay has been running for 9 years and has evolved into a prominent Bitcoin payment service provider.
It operates over a billion dollars a year in payment volume and has about 30,000 effective merchant accounts.
Important businesses like AT&T and Microsoft also utilize BitPay to enable customers to make their trades with cryptocurrency.
While BitPay is well-known for receiving Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Ether (ETH) for online and in-store payments, Pair noted that customers are desiring different cryptocurrencies to be used for deals.
Not quite long, BitPay added support for XRP, the cryptocurrency employed by Ripple’s payment network.
BitPay’s CMO, Bill Zielke, noted that BitPay merchants around are now able to receive XRP without any additional integrations expected.
BitPay also endorses 3 stablecoins pegged to the US dollar namely: USD Coin (USDC), Gemini Dollar (GUSD) and Paxos Standard Token (PAX). The platform, however, has been condemned for not supporting Tether (USDT), which is the stablecoin with the largest trading volumes.
But Pair clarified the issue, stating that BitPay hasn’t detected high need for Tether. Also, the current speculation around Tether has made the company reserved about adding it.
BitPay considers strengthening support for the Lightning Network
Pair also indicated that the Lighting Network is top on their list for what they are contemplating adding to the platform.
The is to allow payments to happen off the blockchain so they don’t take up room and storage, allowing them to achieve greater scalability.
Pair, however, noted that the most important aspect for BitPay is heeding to customer feedback.
If our customers are inquiring for lightning payments, or Bitcoin cash payments, or XRP, then that’s what is important to us. It’s logical for someone to perform lightning transactions on top of Bitcoin Cash or other Bitcoin-like blockchains.
BitPay to build partnership with Bitmain
BitPay had intentions to structure a partnership with the Bitcoin mining company, Bitmain, in 2017. This pact would have enabled BitPay to assist Bitmain to develop open-source blockchain security software.
Pair, however, indicated that there is no relationship between the two companies at the moment.
He said they worked together on a project with Bitmain some years ago, but there is no relationship with the company at the period.
Will BitPay become PayPal for cryptocurrencies?
Backing for more cryptocurrencies and a feasible integration with the Lightning Network may have some people guessing that BitPay is positioning itself to become the next PayPal for cryptocurrencies.
But just like PayPal, the company has been criticized for restricting payments in a few cases.
An instance is a $100,000 donation to an Amazon rainforest charity which was reportedly blocked by BitPay last year. The reason was that charity organization, known as Amazon Watch, didn’t meet BitPay’s internal standards.
Last September, the Hong Kong Free Press also complained that BitPay was holding donor funds for weeks.
Pair clarified that the Hong Kong Free Press didn’t have their bank account set up right and that there were extra steps required to be taken before transactions could happen.