According to a post from Friday on BitPay’s company blog, the need for more currency options for merchants has become increasingly clear. Over time, the service plans to add payments options in “other Blockchains which Bitcoin has inspired,” starting with BCH. Detailing the Bitcoin Cash addition, the BitPay team stated,
We will begin adding support for a Bitcoin Cash payment option this year, starting with BitPay Card loads. All BitPay invoices will include a Bitcoin Cash payment option by default in early 2018.
The news appears to have caused a strong increase in trading volume today as investors moved to buy up BCH, on the expectation that the BitPay integration will increase market usefulness and adoption.
BCH had seen a week of relative stability, hovering between $1,700 and $1,900. Likely investors were slow to react to the BitPay news over the weekend, which explains why the price surge happened only today. At press time the price of BCH had reached $2,250.