Bitcoin Wins: BitPay Sponsors Bowl Game, Coinbase Signs Digital River
June 19, 2014
Two of the biggest players in the bitcoin processing space had major announcements this week continuing the cryptocurrency’s run of good news after a winter of discontent . On Monday, Minneapolis-based Digital River said merchants using its e-commerce platform can accept bitcoin payments. San Francisco bitcoin wallet provider and processor Coinbase will process the transactions and convert bitcoin to U.S. dollars for Digital River merchants. While bitcoin has been enigmatic since its inception and mass consumer adoption is an unresolved question, no one questions its disruptive potential as an online medium of exchange.
“The payments world is energized by talks of digital currencies,” said Souheil Badran, Digital River World Payments’ senior vice president and general manager. “One of the bigger risks faced by merchants is dealing with the volatility of the digital currency market. Partnering with Coinbase allows Digital River to help mitigate that risk for our customers.”
While Coinbase was following up its DISH Network announcement by signing Digital River, BitPay is spending big-time marketing dollars to raise the profile of the entire digital-currency industry. The Atlanta-based processor, which processes more bitcoin transaction value than any other company, yesterday revealed it has signed on as the title sponsor of a nationally televised college football bowl game. And, while BitPay is paying for the sponsorship, it is branding the game using the currency itself.
On Dec. 26, 2014 the inaugural Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl will pit representatives from the Atlantic Coast Conference and the American Athletic Conference against one another in prime time on ESPN. The sponsorship agreement runs through the 2016 game. BitPay hopes to leverage the visibility of college football to reach an attractive demographic, according to Tony Gallippi, executive chairman of BitPay.
“Our goal is to continue to move bitcoin into the mainstream and sponsoring the St. Petersburg Bowl offers us that opportunity,” said Gallippi. “College football fans and the bitcoin community represent a similar target demographic – tech-savvy men between the ages of 18 and 40.”