Bitcoin Cash users, get your wallets ready. More than 100,000 BitPay merchants have made the move to start accepting payments with the popular cryptocurrency. BitPay has been offering the service for legacy Bitcoin (BTC) payments, and automatically rolled out the BCH capability to virtually all of the merchants with whom it has an agreement, including Newegg, Namecheap and Vultr.
It came as a surprise to vendors, some of whom didn’t realize that BCH had been included until they opened their BitPay merchant accounts. While the capability is there, BitPay still has to integrate the option for merchants to receive direct BCH payments, as opposed to having the payments converted to dollars or BTC before being delivered. That option could come in the next couple of weeks.
According to CoinMarketCap, BCH now has a market cap of just over $19.4 billion. Its trading volume is up by more than 10% over Saturday’s figures at the time of writing, and has a value of $1,142. While the fourth largest cryptocurrency has seen a significant drop, as have virtually all coins, from its December high of $4,000, most analysts predict that it could rebound to $3,000 by this summer.
The BCH addition was included through a type of plugin, which was automatically included in the merchants’ accounts. Coinbase launched a similar solution at the beginning of February, but merchants were able to choose which cryptocurrency they would accept. The possible choices included BTC, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum and Litecoin.
With BitPay now offering support for both BTC and Bitcoin Cash, it puts the two coins on virtually an even playing field. It should prove to be an interesting race to see which one, if either, comes out ahead. As cryptocurrencies in general make huge strides toward acceptance on a global level, 2018 is shaping up to be very promising for the digital coins in the commerce sector.
BitPay has been around since 2011, just a couple of years after the launch BTC. It is the largest cryptocurrency payment processor in the world and serves companies on six continents. Microsoft, Neteller, Shopify and Zynga are just some of the merchants that have already begun working with the platform. BitPay also offers a debit card that can be loaded with dollars using a cryptocurrency wallet. The card works anywhere Visa debit cards are accepted.