Online payments processing firm Stripe, which is wildly popular with most start-ups, will start accepting Bitcoin deposits and payments.
Stripe, which has recently emerged a threat to PayPal owing to its aggressive wooing of small businesses to sign up to its platform, is currently rolling out the service, albeit slowly. Companies can only sign up for a closed beta test.
However, one company is currently using the Bitcoin service. Encrypted backup service provider Tarsnap was chosen to be the first tester.
“Stripe’s support is crucial here,” says Colin Percival, Tarsnap founder, told the Guardian. “I tell them I want to get paid X dollars in bitcoins, and they tell me how many bitcoins I should ask for and what address they should be sent to. Stripe then gives me the dollars I asked for -minus a small processing fee, of course.”
Stripe’s co-founder John Collison termed the firm as “a programming language for payments”. Companies can use it by simply writing one line of program code. The company refused to disclose its banking partners.
Stripe’s spokeswoman Kelly Sims said that the company is doing instant exchanges, hence traders don’t have to deal directly with the bitcoin and its volatility risks. She also added that Stripe doesn’t hold the cryptocurrency; this will be done by its back-end partners who deal with actual bitcoin exchanges.
“This is the natural next step in the company’s plans to open up new markets for its users by allowing them to accept any currency or payment instrument their customers want to pay with,” said Ms Sims.
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