BitPay is fast becoming PayPal for Bitcoin. Accepted on numerous sites, making it extremely easy to pay for regular services with Bitcoin, BitPay is a positive step toward making Bitcoin ubiquitous as a payment method.
With that in mind, it is time you go to grips with BitPay. Here’s how you use BitPay and whether you should consider a BitPay card.
What Is BitPay?
BitPay is a Bitcoin payment processor that lets online sites and services accept Bitcoin payments alongside fiat currency. BitPay processes hundreds of thousands of Bitcoin transactions per month, processing over $1 billion worth of transactions in 2017.
As mentioned above, BitPay works similarly to PayPal. In fact, BitPay has an exciting partnership with PayPay, which integrates BitPay into PayPal’s Payment Hub. Merchants using the PayPal Payment Hub can create a BitPay merchant account and begin accepting Bitcoin payments for their services.
How to Pay with BitPay
The beauty of BitPay is how incredibly easy it is to use. I’m going to give you a BitPay example using the transaction of the Private Internet Access VPN.
First up, I select the VPN subscription length, then head to the payment options. In the payment options, I can select BitPay. Enter the email address you want to use for the transaction.
If you have a BitPay account (which at this point, we have not created), you can connect your BitPay ID. Connecting your BitPay ID keeps track of your BitPay transactions in Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash, allows you to claim refunds, and more. Why haven’t we signed up for an account yet? Well, I wanted to show you how easy it is to finish your transaction using the BitPay Guest checkout.
Select Continue as Guest. You can then select Bitcoin or Bitcoin Cash. After selecting either cryptocurrency, you meet a cryptocurrency payment QR code. Scan the QR code with your Bitcoin or Bitcoin Cash wallet and watch as the transaction completes.
Please note that from the moment you select your cryptocurrency payment option, you have a limited amount of time to complete the transaction. You can see how long is remaining for your transaction in the top-right corner of the QR code panel.
Incidentally, Private Internet Access also feature on our list of VPNs you can purchase using Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies.
Crypto Wallets That Work with BitPay
A wide range of Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash wallets work with BitPay. So long as your crypto wallet has been updated to work with the Bitcoin Payment Protocol, you can use that wallet with BitPay. At the time of writing, the following Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash wallets work with BitPay:
- BitPay Wallet
- Copay Wallet
- BTC.com Wallet
- Mycelium Wallet
- Edge Wallet
- Electrum Wallet (Desktop only)
- Bitcoin Core Wallet
- Bitcoin.com Wallet
- BRD Wallet
- Blockchain Wallet
- Exodus (Desktop only)
- Bitcoin Cash Wallet  [no longer available];(Uses old address format, recommend converting to Cashaddr)
- Electron Cash Wallet
How to Setup a BitPay Account
Okay, you have seen how easy it is to complete your payment without a BitPay account. But how about if you want the extra functionality of BitPay? Well, it is easy to create a BitPay account, too.
While making a BitPay purchase, instead of selecting Continue as Guest, select Log In or Sign Up. Enter your email address, create a strong, unique password, and select Create Account. And that’s it; you now have a BitPay account.
BitPay can keep track of your transactions, allowing you to keep tabs on them in one place. Better still, you can use BitPay to make Bitcoin-based refunds on products and services.
Use the BitPay Wallet
To get the most out of BitPay, you’re best off using it with the official BitPay wallet. The BitPay wallet is available for Windows, Linux, Android, and iOS.
Download the app to your device and sign in to your account. After you sign-in, you can either load your existing Bitcoin wallet using its seed or create a new Bitcoin wallet using BitPay. Once you create your wallet, you can see all the incoming and outgoing transactions for that wallet, including your online payments.
Is the BitPay Card Worthwhile?
BitPay also offers a BitPay Visa card. The idea is to make it simple to spend your Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash as easily as you can spend fiat currency. The Bitcoin/Crypto-to-debit card space is becoming very busy. Unfortunately, BitPay has a couple of negatives that you should be aware of before jumping on board.
First up, the card itself costs $9.95. In fairness to BitPay, paying for a Bitcoin Visa isn’t unheard of. But when all other banking institutes offer a debit card as standard, paying for one always rankles. Second is the BitPay dormancy fee. If you do not use your BitPay card for 90 days, BitPay charges a $5.00 dormancy fee each month until you use it again.
You won’t go into debt through these charges. But it will drain your existing funds until your account reaches zero. As my colleague, Joe said, “What is this? A bank?!”
If you do want a Bitcoin or crypto credit card, check out Dan’s list of the five best options.
Is BitPay Like PayPal?
In many ways, yes, BitPay is like PayPal. You can check out as a guest. There are different payment options. In time, more websites will add BitPay as a checkout option, enabling more services than ever to accept Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash as payment options. Services like BitPay are paving the way into making Bitcoin a simple payment technology.
Are you looking to spend some of that sweet Bitcoin? Here are 15 companies that accept Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies!
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