BitPay’s monthly bitcoin transactions have reached a new record, surpassing 200,000 for the month of December, up from around 180,000 in the previous month, according to data shared with CCN by James Walpole, BitPay’s Marketing & Communications Manager.
BitPay’s transaction volumes have more than doubled in 2016, continuing a seemingly exponential trend as bitcoin’s adoption increases all over the world, especially in areas where current traditional payment methods fall far short as BitPay explained in a press release last year:
“Bitcoin payments are highly efficient in the areas where traditional payments are not – cross-border payments, micropayments, multi-user payments, and automated payments. The transaction numbers in these areas are starting to match up with the consistent growth in bitcoin adoption and development effort across the ecosystem.”
International payments are one significant market where bitcoin performs better than traditional methods as bank wires tend to take days or more and charge hefty fees. Moreover, managing payments from or to many countries and currencies can be a headache for businesses with employees or customers scattered all over the world. That’s if they can make such payments at all as individuals in many developing countries may not even have a bank account or may be unable to accept foreign currency.
With bitcoin, BitPay tends to manage much of the process, making it attractive for global businesses, such as affiliate networks or international payroll, which have seen a considerable growth in their use of bitcoin. To further serve these markets BitPay has launched a new tool, Bitcoin Payouts, that “makes paying 1,000 sellers as simple as paying 10.” Indicating untapped demand, it has seen an incredible 1,800% growth, suggesting a significant niche market that is far better served by the digital currency.
Although bitcoin has experienced an increase in fees over the past year to an average of almost $0.50 per transaction, they remain far below international wire transfer charges, making it an attractive alternative for cross border payments. To make it easier, BitPay recently announced they are integrating Coinbase, as well as allowing all merchants to have access to advanced risk mitigation tools for instant bitcoin transactions.
The company stated in November that they provide merchants with three options, very low risk payments which require six confirmations, medium risk payment of just one confirmation and High risk zero confirmation instant transactions. To make zero confirmation payments less risky BitPay stated:
“For many years, BitPay has offered a feature to our Enterprise customers which analyzes incoming transactions and determines if they have a higher-than-normal risk of not being confirmed. We proactively adjust these higher-risk invoices to a Medium transaction speed while letting lower-risk payments proceed at High speed.”
In this way, bitcoin continues to provide merchants with the option of accepting instant and fairly cheap transactions. As such, merchant adoption may continue to increase, especially following the recent price rise to near all-time highs together with the corresponding awareness and adoption that indicates.
If this trend continues, adoption might eventually even reach a level where a small locale operates entirely on bitcoin or where an entire supply cycle is completed by only using the still new digital currency. At that point, bitcoin would fulfill all three qualities of money: store of value, unit of account, and an excellent means of exchange.
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