Just a month after confirming a referral deal with payment processing counterpart Global Payments Inc., Atlanta-based BitPay will continue its move into Europe by expanding its Amsterdam headquarters.
Founded in 2011, BitPay’s software allows businesses to process transactions in bitcoin and other virtual currencies. The Atlanta startup has signed up more than 26,000 merchants and processed transactions valued at over $110 million in 2013.
Last week, Bitcoin announced plans to move to a larger office in the Dutch capital after observing a bitcoin payment explosion in Europe of €28 million this year: a whopping 1,900 percent increase from last year’s €1.4 million.
With demand for the cryptocurrency found particularly high in the U.K., Germany, and Netherlands, BitPay hopes to acquire 30,000 merchants in Europe by the end of 2014. The company cited already had 7,000 by earlier this year.
Moe Levin, director of European development at BitPay, said bitcoin adoption has followsed Europeans’ natural familiarity with multiple currencies, claiming that they’re “at the forefront of mobile technology adoption.”
“It’s easy to see why bitcoin is popular and widely-used,” said Mr. Levin, who added that the company steadily added around 200 new European merchants each month since the headquarters opened in May, and 1,100 in the month of August alone.
BitPay’s accelerated expansion into Europe has not been its only focus as of lately.
A partnership with Global Payments which was announced early last month introduces bitcoin use to multiple international markets as Global Payments serves over 1 million customers across Europe, Russia, Canada, the U.K., U.S. and 11 Asia-Pacific countries.
In an interview with the bitcoin news service CoinDesk, Global Payments indicated that the move would strengthen its own position in developing countries and help both companies “reach more customers in emerging markets.”
“We’re a service business and we’re agnostic to payment types,” said Amy Corn, senior vice president of marketing and communications at Global Payments. “It’s important for us to provide our partners and merchants with the ability to accept any payment anytime, anywhere.”
In the interview, Ms. Corn did not indicate whether the agreement was a preliminary move to further incorporate bitcoins with Global Payments’ services.
While the bitcoin has been met with skepticism from analysts who view it as a fad with potential security threats, bitcoin proponents cite the cryptocurrency’s convenience, anonymity and ability to protect merchants against fraud and chargebacks. Once bitcoin leaves a user’s online “wallet,” the transaction is irreversible, unlike credit cards.
In May, BitPay received $30 million capital infusion led by London-based Index Ventures, just a month after announcing plans to expand operations in South America and Europe.
Learn more about BitPay’s entry into South America:
Visit www.bitpay.com for more information.