Coinbase Inc., an exchange for digital assets, has announced it is releasing a service for merchants to accept cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum and Litecoin as payments.
The exchange will also allow them to deposit them into their own digital wallets, it said in a blog on Medium.
The San Francisco-based company did not immediately detail the transaction fees or transaction times for the product called Coinbase Commerce. The setup requires just an email address and a phone number, it said.
"Our mission at Coinbase is to create an open financial system, so we’ve designed this solution to serve merchants worldwide."
Coinbase Commerce can be directly integrated into a merchant’s checkout flow or added as a payment option on an e-commerce platform. Shopify, a commerce platform, which was already accepting Bitcoin payments, is one of the first platforms to start using the service, Coinbase said.
“Our mission at Coinbase is to create an open financial system, so we’ve designed this solution to serve merchants worldwide. Unlike previous merchant products we’ve offered, Coinbase Commerce is not a hosted service, so merchants have full control of their own digital currency,” it said.
Funds directly in the wallet
Coinbase Commerce will enable merchants to accept multiple cryptocurrencies with funds arriving directly their own wallets. Bitcoin has risen to prominence as a digital currency, but many today are cautious with its value being highly volatile. Transaction times are also slow and transaction fees have been rising.
Many people have bought cryptocurrencies not to spend them but as a way of investment in the hope that their value would rise significantly.
"Bitcoin has evolved to become better-suited to being an asset than being a means of exchange... This has led to Bitcoin becoming less useful for payments," payment processor Stripe said in January of its decision to stop accepting bitcoin payments.
There are many other cryptocurrencies now besides bitcoin, the most notable probably being Ethereum. This has more advanced blockchain-based smart contract technology, but it also is not fast at transactions either.
Coinbase Commerce can accept Bitcoin, Bitcoin cash, Ethereu, and Litecoin. Coinbase is directly targeting established fintech players like Paypal and blockchain firm Bitpay, with this merchant specific solution.
These players dominate the market with their cryptocurrency payment acceptance services. Coinbase Commerce, in contrast to most of the merchant products, is not a hosted service, giving so merchants full control of their digital currency.
Coinbase has tried to keep the integration process of Coinbase Commerce simple on the merchants’ part by targeting both large and small-scale businesses. This can be seen from the fact that any merchant can sign up using only an email and a valid phone number.
Not accepting credit card registrations
Coinbase has stopped accepting any new credit card registrations on its exchange platform for buying digital coins with the ban on using credit cards for purchasing cryptocurrencies by three leading banks in the US.
On the other hand, the exchange will allow the usage of cards, that have already been registered, provided the card issuing bank supports such transactions.
“We are actively working with card networks and card issuers to find a long-term solution. For customers in the UK, EU, Canada, Australia, and Singapore, we are collecting feedback and evaluating similar changes” Coinbase said.