Payment provider BitPay is well known in the cryptocurrency world for offering payment services to those who would accept cryptocurrencies as a means of payment. With many vendors and even governments wanting to accept cryptocurrencies as payment, but fearful of losses, BitPay offers them the opportunity to accept cryptocurrencies as payment, converting those payments instantly into fiat currency. It will be payment systems providers such as BitPay that will be crucial in the future growth of cryptocurrencies, as the development of point of sale acceptance will be necessary for cryptocurrencies to continue making inroads into the financial mainstream.
Thus far BitPay has largely operated on the back-end for larger institutions, but now it is starting to make advances into the point of sale arena. Through a new partnership, BitPay hopes to offer services to over 100,000 retailers worldwide at their point of sale. That could potentially open up huge new markets to cryptocurrency users.
Ultimately the success of cryptocurrencies will require two things: adoption by users as a means of payment, and adoption by investors as a store of value. With cryptocurrency IRAs, Bitcoin futures and options, and in the future potentially cryptocurrency exchange-traded funds (ETFs), the role of cryptocurrencies as investment assets is growing all the time.
It’s in the point of sale area that cryptocurrencies have stalled for some time. They made great progress in the first few years after Bitcoin’s creation, but the number of retailers accepting cryptocurrencies seems to have stagnated. Part of that is because Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have gained so much in price over the past several years, and have such limited supply, that investors want to hold onto their cryptocurrencies to benefit from those gains.
Eventually some of those investors may be tempted to use their cryptocurrency holdings as means of payment. After all, if your cryptocurrencies triple in value then everything you buy with them is a third of the price that you would have paid in dollar terms. All it takes is your retailer of choice accepting cryptocurrencies as payment and you can make that happen. And with more companies like BitPay entering the consumer point of sale market, that may soon become a reality for more and more cryptocurrency investors.