BitPay, Blockchain Raise Their Game for Bitcoin Merchants and Users

July 31, 2014

BitPay, Blockchain Raise Their Game for Bitcoin Merchants and Users Two interesting announcements came out of the Bitcoin world this week from two of the bigger players in the space. BitPay, a processor and merchant services provider that enables Bitcoin acceptance, announced a new pricing plan that will offer merchants free processing. And Blockchain, one of the most widely used Bitcoin wallets, said its app has been reinstated at the Apple App Store.

Recognizing that merchants will have to be the driving force to get consumers to adopt Bitcoin for online transactions in the U.S., BitPay has thrown down the gauntlet, setting a goal to grow its merchant portfolio from 35,000 today to one million by the end of 2016. The company said it will offer its basic service and email support for free, forever.

"When we started BitPay in 2011, we saw an opportunity to finally give merchants around the world relief from interchange fees," said BitPay’s Co-Founder and Executive Chairman Tony Gallippi. By offering a basic plan that is free and unlimited, forever, we give merchants yet another reason to be excited about bitcoin."

While merchants that sign up now have free access to any plug-in, API or app from the company’s library, it will still offer business and enterprise pricing plans for companies that need more support and features.

Separately, Bitcoin-wallet provider Blockchain announced that its iOS app is available again at the Apple App Store after having been removed by Apple in February. Apple never publicly gave a reason for Blockchain’s removal, but speculation centered around the company’s caution over the uncertain nature of Bitcoin payments. Apparently their concerns have abated (perhaps goosed by the unveiling of Blockchain’s new Andriod app earlier this month).

"We’re very excited to continue investing in iOS again and working with Apple to reimagine how the world transacts," said Nicolas Cary, CEO of Blockchain. "Blockchain, the most popular bitcoin wallet in the world with 1.9 millions users, is proud to be able to give consumers around the world a secure, simple, beautiful iOS wallet."