Bitcoin payment processor BitPay has announced at the Money Conf Belfast that the startup will shift its focus from merchant payment platforms and services to working with large financial institutions and banks.
BitPay plans to implement the payment infrastructure that was initially developed to secure BitPay’s accounting system to settle credit card and bank settlements by simplifying and securing the process of transferring money from one account to another using the Bitcoin blockchain.
Bitpay CEO Stephen Pair announced that the instantaneous transfer of payments which the Bitcoin blockchain offers could make settlements and transfers between banks and credit cards much more efficient. Pair:
"We’re talking to quite a few banks. They’re very serious, they want to do pilot projects and they can’t start working on them fast enough.”
Over the last four years, BitPay has developed several Bitcoin based platforms and technologies, which include: a P2P database system ChainDB, recently re-launched multi-signature wallet CoPay, an open source platform for bitcoin and blockchain based apps Bitcore, and Foxtrot, a network that allows nodes to communicate with one another.
Pair believes that some of these technologies could solve the problems that the banks and financial institutions suffer from immediately, explaining:
"There are so many use cases in a bank that this technology can address and make better. There are some use-cases that almost all of them want to do, like how do you do clearing and selling between banks more efficiently.”
For example, credit cards purchases are merely receipts, which guarantee both parties that money will be sent to the receiver at the end of the day. However, if the credit card purchases are processed in a blockchain, payments could be transferred instantaneously, and will be verified within an hour.
Furthermore, the transactions are recorded publicly, which allows both the receivers and the senders to track down the payments.
If the majority of bank transfers are successfully processed via a blockchain, more people will become aware of the technology and realize its importance, which ultimately may lead to mainstream bitcoin adoption.
"At BitPay we've never thought there'd be this overnight adoption where you get people using it this year or even next year” explained Pair. “It's going to take some time. In the industry there’s a realization that yes it’s an incredible technology but it’s going to take a while for it to mature."
While BitPay pivots towards technological infrastructure for banks and enterprises, other prominent bitcoin payment processing startups including GoCoin still plan to address the short term problem for merchants.
“Whereas BitPay is shifting their focus to helping banks settle transactions more quickly, GoCoin has decided to address the problem head-on,” said GoCoin CEO Steve Beauregard. “While I agree the consumer adoption is not happening at the pace any of the early pioneers believed it would, but we are taking the dog to the fight so to speak to provide the tools to merchants to change the behavior to the safest, lowest cost payment alternative.”