February 25, 2015
San Francisco Based Stripe Now Accepts Online Currency Bitcoin

The digital payment processing platform Stripe is now accepting the crypto-currency Bitcoin for a 0.5 percent processing fee, Stripe announced last week.

The move follows almost a year of beta testing by Stripe begun in March of 2014 in which the company conducted transactions using the online currency in more than 60 foreign countries.

"We want to enable merchants to add new payment instruments as easily as possible, and are really happy we've been able to provide Bitcoin support to Stripe Checkout users with just one extra line of code," Stripe co-founder John Collison told the International Business Times UK.

Stripe customers with a US dollar bank account are now able to accept Bitcoin through an additional line of code added to the company's Checkout program or an API.

Stripe's method of using an online receiver makes it impossible for the purchase to be declined for lack of funds. Users need simply to enter the US dollar amount they want to pay and Stripe will convert it to Bitcoins and push that amount into a virtual wrapper, which can then be charged for the purchase amount.

A new mini-site helped Stripe advertise the launch.

The addition of Bitcoin to Stripe's payment options is a boost to the currency, which has seen its ups and downs, the latest of which was in January when it lost $5 million in a hacker attack. Following the attack the price of a single Bitcoin fell to $185 from $200.

The currency was also infamously connected to the Silk Road, the online marketplace used to buy and sell illegal drugs and other criminal activities that was shut down by federal investigators.

Following Stripe's announcement, however, the digital currency has seen a comeback and is currently valued at $237, according to CoinDesk, the Bitcoin trading platform.

San Francisco based Stripe was founded in 2011 and is devoted to making it easier for online merchants to accept payments.

Stripe now powers dozens of companies including Foursquare, Kickstarter, Lyft, Reddit, Rackspace and Shopify among others.

Stripe, founded by Patrick and John Collison was recently valued at $3.5 billion, according to the Silicon Republic.

"It really comes down to the the way that we, Stripe, want to be the universal payment infrastructure of the web," Stripe CTO Greg Brockman told CoinDesk during an interview last June. "As part of that, bitcoin is really interesting as something that helps spread that, that helps connect this archipelago of different financial systems."

[ Photo by George Frey/Getty Images ]