The co-founders analyzed several business models for bitcoin services, and concluded that most ecommerce payments were handled by 50-year-old technology (credit and debit card systems), which were not designed for the internet. This gap in technology as well as the positive security aspects of bitcoins led the co-founders to develop a bitcoin payment platform that enables merchant to easily accept bitcoin without having to worry about volatility as they have the option to get settled via a bank transfer.
The idea of creating the company was conceived in May 2011, and the two co-founders initially funded the company with $50,000 in initial capital. Shortly after starting, the business flourished as BitPay quickly achieved 1,000 merchants by September 2012. In May 2014 BitPay raised a series-A from leading investment firms such as Index Ventures, RRE Ventures, and venture capitalist Richard Branson. The Series-A has enabled BitPay to grow in terms of transaction volume and clientele and to expand its geographical footprint. It has opened offices in San Francisco, Tucuman (Argentina) and Utrecht (Netherlands) and expended the team by hiring over 40 talented professionals.
Although merchant payment processing is still BitPay’s main product, several other products have been developed over the years. About 1 year ago, BitPay has introduced its Payout Product, which enables merchants to easily payout to their customers in bitcoin globally. BitPay also launched a Visa Debit prepaid card, which allows consumers in over 130 countries to easily top-up their prepaid debit card with bitcoin. Finally, BitPay has launched a self-hosted Wallet which allows consumers to safely store, send and receive bitcoin.