An API-based internet payment system provider Stripe has updated its advice on setting up its service to accept bitcoin. The feature is set to come out of beta in January 2015 with a fee of 0.5% per transaction.
“Stripe is a developer-friendly way to accept payments online and in mobile apps. We process billions of dollars a year for thousands of companies of all sizes. We think that enabling frictionless transactions is a problem rooted in code and design, not finance. Our robust, clean APIs let our users focus on building great products. We love the web, and care deeply about beautiful code, APIs, and documentation. We really like building things—the people at Stripe have previously helped start Lala, Act Blue, Wesabe, Kickoff, Interstate, Auctomatic, GroupSpaces, Encyclopedia, and Observer,” is written on the company’s website.
Stripe was founded by Limerick brothers John and Patrick Collison in San Francisco in 2010. When the brothers came up with the idea for Stripe in 2009, they were studying at university: John at Harvard, Patrick at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). At that time both already had a successful record in the technology industry: the foundation of Auctomatic, which manages inventory for sites like eBay, in their teens. They sold it soon after that for $5 million.
Stripe offers processing services for online and mobile transactions. It allows businesses to start processing credit-card payments in 139 different currencies, bank transfers, bitcoin and Alipay in less than five minutes, besides enables software programmers quickly incorporate payment features into their applications. The company is often considered to be a rival for payments giant Paypal. Investors according to the latest funding round are the following: Sequoia, General Catalyst, Founders Fund, Khosla Ventures and Thrive Capital. They contribute the amount of venture funding raised by Stripe to $210 million. Stripe supports payments in over 14 countries and is used by several major companies like TaskRabbit, Lyft and Shopify to process payments.
In March 2014 Stripe has launched its beta test of bitcoin support. Since that time the company’s CTO Greg Brockman has spoken out publicly on digital currency’s potential a number of times, saying bitcoin could “unbundle the existing financial system into layers run by independent companies”, and that it could unify different global financial systems. Brockman wrote that digital currency had more potential in markets with volatile fiat currencies like Argentina than it could have in the US. A key to involving new customers to digital currency lay with specialist “gateway” companies to make transactions easier.
Stripe sent an email to users who had showed interest in its bitcoin services on 23rd December and said on its guide page that accepting bitcoin should be a quick and simple process for anyone currently using its APIs. Developers can enable bitcoin in either ‘testmode’, with Stripe sending three fake bitcoins to the test account once it is set up, or ‘livemode’, with real bitcoin and addresses.
According to the guide, all API endpoints, dashboard pages, and reporting files support both payment types. To present a bitcoin payment option to customer, developers should enable it with a few lines of code in either Stripe.js or Checkout. Customers will pay in bitcoin but the trader will receive dollars, as a protection against price volatility. Fees have been removed during the beta phase. The company will begin charging the 0.5% per payment fee once the service comes out in January 2015.