Stripe’s announcement says that the company is enabling its clients to accept Bitcoin payments. Moreover, Bitcoin can be accepted alongside credit card payments. However, the key difference lies in the way the payments are made. Anyway, Stripe users can start accepting Bitcoin payments without changing their server-side integration: all API endpoints and dashboard reports are available for both types of payments.
The company explains:
“With credit cards, you collect a card number from your user. You can use this card number multiple times, but each time, the user’s bank may choose to decline the charge. Simply collecting the card number does not guarantee access to any particular amount of funds.”
In contrast, when using Bitcoin, there’s no saved number that can be charged again later. The process is inverted in order to make customers able to pay the needed amount.
It’s necessary to add that Stripe started testing Bitcoin integration last March with a private beta. Stripe merchants were able to accept Bitcoin transactions from more than 60 countries. The trial was finished in December. Stripe will charge 0.5 percent per transaction made with Bitcoin.
The company’s website states that in order to accept Bitcoin, merchants just need to add some lines of code. The algorithm of Bitcoin transaction is also described:
- You specify the amount that you want to collect from your user, in USD. We determine what amount of bitcoin (BTC) is needed to convert to your specified USD amount.
- We create what is called a BitcoinReceiver—a wrapper around a Bitcoin address that provides a virtual location that your user can push the payment to.
- Once the user has pushed enough bitcoin into the receiver, you can create a charge using this receiver (very much how you would use a card token if you were accepting credit card payments). Because the funds are already in the receiver when you create the charge, there’s no concept of a “decline” the way there would be in credit cards. You already have the bitcoin, so creating a charge from the BitcoinReceiver cannot fail.
“You don’t even need to worry about what amount in bitcoin you want to charge—you simply specify the amount of USD that you want to receive, and we handle showing your user on how much BTC they must pay, and how,” the guideline reads.
So, officially starting Bitcoin integration after almost a year of beta testing, Stripe believes that it will now allow customers in its network that have US dollar bank accounts to receive Bitcoin without any problems.