A man walks past the "Bitcoin Embassy" in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where BitPay has thrived by smoothing the way for bitcoin to be used as a means of foreign exchange.

BitPay, the Atlanta-based fintech company that bridges merchants and cryptocurrencies, has raised a $30 million Series B round that will fuel its expansion into Asia and into new avenues like supply-chain payments.

The investment was led by Aquiline Technology Growth, based in New York. The fund was drawn to the company’s rapid revenue growth and its “ambitious plans” to make bitcoin the default currency of e-commerce.

BitPay got its start as a back-end platform helping merchants, especially online, accept bitcoin payments, but now it’s broadening the ways that businesses and consumers can use bitcoin to bypass limitations of the traditional payment structures.

That’s particularly helpful in international transactions, where fees are high, intermediaries abound and clearing times can be long.

BitPay has recently ventured into cross-border supply chain payments, helping, say, a U.S. buyer accept bitcoin from their Chinese supplier without the cumbersome foreign-exchange transactions and wire transfers that banks require.  In many emerging markets, traditional banking is underdeveloped, limiting U.S. firms’ market access.

The company also innovating on the consumer side, with an open-source BitPay digital wallet having passed the $3 billion mark in transaction volume. That’s even greater than the amount merchants have accepted on the BitPay platform: nearly $2 billion, according to the company.

BitPay also recently launched a Visa debit card that allows users to transfer bitcoin for use on the traditional credit-card payment networks.

BitPay will use the $30 million to hire engineers, pursue regulatory licenses, acquire technology and expand into key regions, it said in a news release.

The raise comes as bitcoin’s value has skyrocketed in recent months, once again fueling questions about the digital currency’s volatility and speculation. One bitcoin was worth less than $3,000 in August. Today, the price is nearly $17,000.   

While it only makes up about 16 percent of BitPay’s global volume, Asia is fastest-growing region for transactions and wallet adoption.

The company raised a series A round of $30 million in 2014 after taking $2.7 million angel funding.

BitPay is based in Atlanta but has offices in San Francisco and in the Netherlands and Argentina. In Hong Kong, it partners with AsiaPay to offer a bitcoin integration for merchants accepting traditional payments.

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As managing editor of Global Atlanta, Trevor has spent 15+ years reporting on Atlanta’s ties with the world. An avid traveler, he has undertaken trips to 30+ countries to uncover stories on the perils...