Stripe brings clout to Bitcoin
Bitcoin may have had a couple of ups and one big serious down, but it isn’t going anywhere. At least, that’s what payments processor Stripe is betting on as it now accepts Bitcoin from online merchants.
This move just goes to show how more and more businesses in the payments space are getting behind cryptocurrencies.
However, the most interesting piece of news comes from CEO Patrick Collison’s conversation with Re/code about the future of Stripe. Most importantly, it’ll be able to process payments via the Automated Clearinghouse – or ACH for short.
If you’re unaware, the ACH is an infrastructure that’s used to process direct deposits and bank payments in the US. Currently payments going through ACH have compromised around $36.9 trillion in value, across over 21 billion transactions in 2012 alone.
Still, Bitcoin is a big deal for Stripe as it opens up Bitcoin merchants to a newer, bigger, payment processor than they’re already used to. This means that some of the bigger online merchants, such as Overstock.com, can process payments for their customers alongside a more trusted name.
This means that merchants can now set up direct debits with Stripe through the ACH, allowing payments directly into a user’s bank account. Or, if they so please, the can take money in Bitcoin instead.
It’ll be interesting to see if Stripe go further with this and begin to accept other cryptocurrencies.