Running a bitcoin payment gateway is nothing short of big business. Thousands of merchants around the world rely on these services to allow for the acceptance of bitcoin with limited risk — allowing them to instantly exchange the digital currency for local fiat and avoiding potentially costly fluctuations in price.
Take BitPay, for example. The company has grown exponentially in the past couple of years, going from 1,000 merchants signed up in September 2012, to 10,000 merchants a year later in September 2013.
They’ve since accumulated about 30,000 merchants globally, making them an industry leader, and they’re hoping to bring somewhere in the neighborhood of 100,000 merchants aboard by the year’s end.
Some of these merchants include big-name brands, including electronics retailer TigerDirect, gaming company Zynga, Richard Branson’s space venture Virgin Galactic, and the Sacramento Kings sports team.
Fifty percent of the company’s merchants are located in the United States, making this a huge market (not surprisingly). Thirty percent are based out of the European Union, and the remaining are sprinkled elsewhere on the globe.
Major services have even integrated BitPay’s payment processing product, including WordPress, Shopify, and VisualTouch — a point-of-sale system in use by some 6,000 merchants, some with over one thousand locations.
It’s all about making bitcoin payments easy and accessible, and judging by the company’s figures, you can say they are doing just that.
In 2013 alone, BitPay processed 209,420 digital currency transactions. That’s $110 million worth in fiat, if you were wondering.
Today, the company processes about $1 million worth of bitcoin transactions per day, I’m told by the company.
Assuming these numbers keep up, BitPay’s on track to processing a significant amount more than they did last year (you do the math).
This incredible growth has forced the company to expand their operations, opening offices in San Francisco, Buenos Aires, and Amsterdam — which come in addition to home base in Atlanta, Georgia.
Investors are taking notice, too.
The company recently received a record $30 million investment in a funding round led by Index Ventures (Richard Branson also participated, as did a number of other entities), and is estimated to be valuated somewhere in the range of $160 million.
This investment will allow the company to add approximately seventy jobs to their work force across all locations in order to keep up with growth.
By the looks of it, the company is doing some big things. Certainly, it will be interesting to see how these numbers change in the months ahead.