Coinbase launches merchant payment service

Posted: 13 February 2018 3:09 pm
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The new service allows for virtual currencies to be conveniently integrated as electronic payments.

Digital cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has created a new crypto payment option for merchants.

The Coinbase Commerce button works in a similar way to the PayPal plugin but rather than accepting fiat currencies, the new service allows for virtual currencies to be integrated as electronic payments.

Previously, merchants who wanted to accept crypto payments required customers to have Coinbase accounts. However, Coinbase Commerce circumvents this requirement, offering a more efficient digital payment option.

Coinbase says that the service is “not yet open for new signups” but interested parties can join the waitlist. However, some existing merchants are already using Coinbase Commerce, according to Trustnodes.

Coinbase is accepting payments in four cryptocurrencies: bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum and Litecoin.

Once a customer reaches a merchant’s checkout page, they’ll be presented with a Coinbase Commerce button alongside other standard payment options, such as PayPal or credit card.

Customers then select their preferred cryptocurrency, view the total product cost and enter a crypto address to confirm payment. Purchasers can also pay by scanning a QR code.

It’s unclear how bitcoin’s potentially sluggish payments backlogs will affect the Coinbase Commerce platform.

Around 48,000 different businesses utilize Coinbase to integrate bitcoin payments.

Coinbase has headquarters in San Francisco, operates in most US states, as well as Canada, the United Kingdom and Europe, and is estimated to provide trading services for around 13.3 million users worldwide.

Earlier this month, Coinbase warned customers that, due to recent changes to the Merchant Category Code (MCC), credit card companies are now able to charge additional “cash advance” fees on cryptocurrency purchases. The exchange also distributed end of year tax documents to a number of customers in the US.

In January, finance giant Visa’s chief executive Alfred Kelly said the digital currency market was “still evolving” and that cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin, were not an acceptable form of payment. Additionally, several prepaid crypto debit card providers had their services suspended by Visa at the beginning of this year.

Online payments giant Stripe has also distanced itself from decentralized digital currency bitcoin, which it has supported since mid-2014, citing lengthy transaction times, rising fees and dwindling customer appetite.

Keen to discover more about cryptocurrencies? Check out our growing A-Z list of the many altcoins available.

Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of cryptocurrency or any specific provider, service or offering. It is not a recommendation to trade. Cryptocurrencies are speculative, complex and involve significant risks – they are highly volatile and sensitive to secondary activity. Performance is unpredictable and past performance is no guarantee of future performance. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before relying on this information. You should also verify the nature of any product or service (including its legal status and relevant regulatory requirements) and consult the relevant Regulators' websites before making any decision. Finder, or the author, may have holdings in the cryptocurrencies discussed.

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