While its trading clients might have preferred Coinbase to focus on improving its core service, the exchange is busy now expanding into another market. Coinbase Commerce has launched to help online stores handle payments in four leading cryptocurrencies.
San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has developed a new service that aims to simplify for merchants the adoption of multiple cryptocurrencies as payments for goods and services. Coinbase Commerce facilitates the acceptance of cryptocurrencies by monitoring, validating and confirming client transactions on each blockchain. And the company says that payments made from its customers are performed on-chain.
After a quiet soft launch test period, Coinbase Commerce was made available on Wednesday February 14 for all merchants globally. Online retailers everywhere can now use the service to accept bitcoin (BTC), bitcoin cash (BCH), ethereum (ETH) and litecoin (LTC) payments. It enables merchants to accept multiple cryptocurrencies directly into a user-controlled wallet. Unlike previous merchant tools that the company developed, this one is not a hosted service, meaning that retailers have actual control of their own digital currency.
The developers of Coinbase Commerce say that it can be directly integrated into a merchant’s checkout flow or added as a payment option on an e-commerce platform. With just an email address and a phone, merchants can sign up and begin accepting crypto payments. The service has already been integrated with Canada-headquartered Shopify (NYSE: SHOP), one of the largest multi-channel commerce platforms, boasting more than 500,000 merchants with a total gross merchandise volume exceeding $45 billion. They add that they are actively adding more integrations with such platforms to make accepting cryptocurrency as easy as possible for merchants.
While the service can be most easily explained to retailers from outside the cryptocurrency ecosystem as a Paypal checkout for bitcoin, it’s more of an actual competitor to the largest bitcoin payment processor in the world today – Bitpay. The digital asset service provider based in Atlanta, Georgia has been the dominant player in the sector for a while now but Coinbase, whose revenues exceeded $1 billion last year, might be the best placed firm to challenge it.
Is competition between Coinbase and Bitpay going to lead to better services? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.