Payments Platform BitPay Hints at Adding a Top Five Cryptocurrency
The blockchain payments platform BitPay has added a new member to help continue growing its business. In a May 7, 2019, press release, the company announced that Glen Braganza, formerly of WorldPay, would join BitPay’s operations as their Chief Financial Officer. Beyond that, Rolf Haag, head of BitPay’s business solutions, said in an interview during Consensus 2019 that the platform would be adding “one of the top five cryptocurrencies” before the end of the year.
Boosting a Fast-Growing Business
Glen Braganza’s experience at Worldpay U.S. along with managing the Mergers & Acquisitions sector for several different financial organizations underline BitPay’s ambitions for continued growth. In 2018, the platform processed over $1 billion in payments and boasted a total of two million wallet users. And although the service only offers exposure to bitcoin (BTC) and bitcoin cash (BCH) at current, the business world has taken a keen interest in adopting payments in digital currencies.
Commenting on this interest, CEO of BitPay, Stephen Pair, pointed out that his company’s record growth was due mostly to businesses experiencing the advantages of blockchain payments. In 2018, the firm’s business to business service pushed past 200 percent with companies like Avnet using the pioneer cryptocurrency for settlements and international payments.
In hiring Braganza, it’s clear that BitPay is intent on continuing this growth. While at Worldpay U.S., Braganza led the firm to a $1.3 billion valuation and grew the company from 2,500 employees to over 5,000.
Regarding his interest in crypto, he said that:
“BitPay is at the cutting-edge of blockchain-payment technology and has proven itself as a valuable partner to numerous companies and consumers globally. I believe that BitPay has the opportunity to be a game-changer in the financial technology and payment space as the use cases for blockchain payments grow around the world.”
Integrating Wallets and Coins
When founded in 2011, the platform needed only to integrate the Bitcoin blockchain. Since then, BitPay has only added Bitcoin Cash despite the over 2,000 altcoins currently available. Naturally, this has been a point of contention for many in the crypto community, but Rolf Haag told BTCManager in an interview that the reason for this is relatively simple.
“It’s difficult work integrating new blockchains to a service,” Haag said. “But since we already had Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash was relatively easy due to their extreme similarities.”
Another pain point for many when using BitPay is its limited wallet integration. When making travel arrangements on sites like CheapOAir, which accepts bitcoin as a form of payment, users are limited to creating a Coinbase or Blockstream wallet to complete the transaction. With the recent Neutrino scandal at Coinbase still fresh in many minds, as well as the uncertainty behind anything other than a hardware wallet, some have commented that BitPay corners users into using specific services.
Haag, however, explained that the BitPay platform is all open source and thus if a firm is interested in being a part of the collection applications that the firm supports, they merely need to work with BitPay’s code. “We would be happy to have Ledger or Trezor become compatible with our protocol. They just need to adopt the source code,” Haag said.
Another major point of interest for BitPay fans is the integration of new coins. Similar to a new listing on Coinbase, a project that earns a spot with BitPay will surely see a boost in price. But when pressed for clues, Haag remained tight-lipped on the subject outside of an announcement in 2019. “Just keep an eye on the top five coins,” he said.
If the reasoning behind integrating Bitcoin Cash stands true, then there are few other coins in the top five category that make the cut. Litecoin’s source code, like Bitcoin Cash’s, is a near identical replica of Bitcoin outside of the specifications made for speed. All that remains after that is ether (ETH) and XRP and high hopes.