Today BitPay announced that it plans to accept XRP. BitPay is one of the biggest cryptocurrency merchant services providers. It has a significant number of retail outlets that accept cryptocurrencies via BitPay.
These include the likes of Microsoft and New Egg, and the company processes more than $1 billion in crypto payments annually. Hence this will extend XRP’s use for retail in particular, as well as cross border payments. The service will be in action by the end of the year.
“BitPay customers are leveraging the promise of blockchain payment technology and with XRP can offer a payment option that is fast, cost-effective and scalable,” said Sean Rolland, Director of Product at BitPay. “The addition of XRP as the next blockchain asset supported by BitPay expands blockchain choices across the payments space.”
Currently, BitPay supports Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash and Ethereum. Additionally, users can settle using three stablecoins Circle’s USDC, Gemini Dollar and Paxos Standard Token, as well as 12 conventional currencies.
The deal was announced as a partnership with Xpring, which is a Ripple developer initiative and often financially supports partners. For example, Coil for content payments received the equivalent of $260 million in XRP from Xpring, which has committed more than $500m since the unit was launched last year. A few days ago Xpring acquired payments software company Logos to accelerate decentralized finance products.
The statement also said there are plans to integrate the BitPay Wallet with the Xpring developer platform. This will make it easy for developers to integrate money into their business.
“We’re excited to partner with BitPay to enable XRP for its thousands of merchants for everyday purchases and bills. This is key in advancing the proliferation and adoption of XRP as a medium of exchange to help solve real-world problems,” said Ethan Beard, SVP of Xpring.
Xpring is a very sensible strategy for Ripple to expand the use of XRP. Prior to this initiative the primary targets were money transfer companies, banks and corporates. At the recent SIBOS banking conference, two banks told Ledger Insights that they’re not likely to ever use XRP even though they are fans of the RippleNet payments messaging solution.
That’s because big banks often have branches in the major jurisdictions and existing accounts elsewhere, so XRP isn’t such a big draw there. However, XRP has some appeal for money transfer companies which struggle to set up foreign bank accounts. Challenger banks, too, could use the currency instead of taking the time to deploy and maintain numerous offshore accounts.