Major cryptocurrency payment services provider BitPay has added support for the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, Ether (ETH).

Per a press release published on Sept. 16, companies that use BitPay for payment processing are now able to accept Ether for purchases without having to set up any enhancements. BitPay has also made it possible for users to store and use Ether in a BitPay wallet, and for BitPay Prepaid Visa Card holders to top up their debit cards.

Ether joins Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash

Launched in 2011, BitPay processes payments with Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and now Ether. The system converts all currencies to digital money and vice versa. BitPay has purportedly processed nearly $3 billion in payments since 2011. Commenting on the development, Vitalik Buterin, a co-founder of Ethereum, said:

"It is exciting to see BitPay leading the way in integrating Ethereum into global payment systems. [...] This truly opens up a new world of possibilities for the Ethereum ecosystem, and together we can continue to be a leading innovator for real world use cases for cryptocurrencies."

BitPay’s security measures and payment restrictions

BitPay has been stepping up its security measures in recent months. In late August, the company introduced new identity verification measures for certain high-value payments, refunds and payouts. The firm now requires that users undergo a one-time verification process that requires the input of data such as their Social Security or passport number, as well as a photo ID.

That same month, BitPay rejected a $100,000 donation to an Amazon rainforest charity as Amazon Watch’s maximum payment limit was set below $100,000. After BitPay advised staff to change it, however, they said that doing so was impossible automatically, and that they must submit separate documentation.

In September, Tom Grundy, founder of crowdfunded media outlet Hong Kong Free Press, claimed that BitPay blocked donations to Hong Kong for several weeks.