Bitcoin Payment Processor BitPay Launches Stablecoin Settlement [Tether’s Not Invited]

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Bitcoin payment processor BitPay has announced that merchants may now accept settlement in USD-pegged cryptocurrency “stablecoins” Gemini Dollar (GUSD) and USD Coin (USDC), providing them with the ability to denominate their operations in cryptocurrency while remaining immune from market volatility.

The Atlanta-based BitPay made the announcement on Monday, explaining that it will allow merchants in 190 countries to accept international payments without relying on costly, time-consuming wire transfers.

“BitPay was founded to make payments faster, more secure, and less expensive using Bitcoin for organizations around the world,” said Stephen Pair, the company’s co-founder and CEO. “The introduction of the USDC and GUSD stable coin offers BitPay customers a new alternative to holding Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash by offering a stable coin option.”

Previously, merchants could receive settlement in bitcoin, bitcoin cash, and — depending on jurisdictional restrictions — physical dollars and euros. All transactions settled in cryptocurrency will be completed the following day.

GUSD, as CCN reported, was recently launched by Gemini, the cryptocurrency exchange founded by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss. The token, whose balance sheet will be audited monthly, received the explicit approval of the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS), the architect of the stringent “BitLicense” framework.

USDC, meanwhile, is the product of a consortium initially spearheaded by Circle, the $3 billion cryptocurrency firm backed by Bitmain and Goldman Sachs.

Notably absent from the list of supported stablecoins is tether (USDT), the dominant token in this market niche and the eighth-largest cryptocurrency overall. Long a flashpoint within the crypto space, USDT lost its dollar peg leading into Monday morning, once again raising questions about whether the token is fully-backed by USD, as its eponymous issuer claims.

Also absent is Paxos Standard (PAX), another major NYDFS-regulated stablecoin launched by New York cryptocurrency firm Paxos. According to CoinMarketCap, PAX’s trading volumes have eclipsed those of GUSD and USDC during their early days on the market.

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Josiah is an assistant editor at CCN. A former ancient and medieval literature teacher, he has been reporting on cryptocurrency since 2014. He lives in rural North Carolina with his wife and children. He holds investment positions in bitcoin and other large-cap cryptocurrencies. Follow him on Twitter @Y3llowb1ackbird or email him directly at josiah.wilmoth(at)ccn.com.