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$30 million Bitcoin startup Bitpay's backup plan: Sell tech to the banks

30 million Bitcoin startup Bitpay s backup plan Sell tech to the banks


The four-year-old US company lets businesses accept Bitcoin as payment and has signed up 60,000 retailers including Microsoft and Virgin Galactic (Sir Richard Branson is an investor).

But Bitpay has a big problem — ordinary people aren't paying with Bitcoin.

Bitpay's co-founder and CEO Stephen Pair told Business Insider at MoneyConf in Belfast: "We keep adding merchants — we're up to over 60,000 now — but they're selling to the same pool of Bitcoin early adopters."

"At Bitpay we've never thought there'd be this overnight adoption where you get people using it this year or even next year. It's going to take some time. In the industry there’s a realisation that yes it’s an incredible technology but it’s going to take a while for it to mature."

As a result of this realisation, Bitpay has shifted its focus from letting businesses accept Bitcoin to getting people interested in Bitcoin in the first place. The company is doing this by building the infrastructure and tools to make Bitcoin more accessible. In the process, they've stumbled on a new market — big banks.

Pair says: "They’re very excited. What we’re building we started building because we needed to secure our own accounting system. Turns out that’s the same problem that banks face when they need to do clearing and settlement between each other."

Stashed in: @richardbranson, Bitcoin

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60,000 merchants accept Bitcoin?!

Wow, I think there are more merchants who take Bitcoin than people who have Bitcoins. 

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