Shopify (SHOP.NYSE) deal with CoinPayments is a successful bite down on digital coins

May 21, 2020
CoinPayments

CoinPayments, a crypto payment processor based on the Cayman Islands, penned a deal with Shopify (SHOP.NYSE) that will result in its platforms integrated, bringing more cryptocurrency options for Shopify merchants.

The naysayers will always be there regardless of how well cryptocurrency is doing. Its value is based on air, they say. It’s not a worthwhile investment because of its volatility. You can’t do anything with it. But gradually, despite the opinions of pundits, cryptocurrency continues to grow in popularity with Bitcoin leading the way, and despite the downturned frowns, scoffs and incredulous remarks, cryptocurrency will go mainstream little by little as more merchants recognize its worth.

“The combination of Shopify and CoinPayments is unstoppable in the payments industry,” said Jason Butcher, CoinPayments CEO.

He’s not wrong.

At least right now, cryptocurrencies make more sense as digital currencies expended over the internet rather than as fiat cash systems used at point of sales devices. We recently bought a pullup bar so we could do something while under quarantine to keep us sane. We went to an online retailer and blew the cost on my credit card. The transaction went through in minutes—no issues there—but we didn’t get the bar in for another week. We could have just as easily gone to Shopify or any other online retailer and bought it in dogecoin, litecoin or bitcoin, waited the ten or so minutes for the block to close, and then gotten it in the same time it took Canada Post to deliver it. The scaling issue isn’t an issue when you have to wait anyway.

Now Shopify will give its merchants the option to accept payments in more than 1,000 cryptocurrencies. Yes, there are that number. More, actually. A lot more.

The idea is to enable more cross-border payments and eliminate the friction and hassle merchants have to deal with when using multiple payment processes across jurisdictions.

Most cryptocurrencies are borderless. We say most because there might be some friction with stablecoins based on foreign currencies, like Tether or coins based on precious metals, but any of the most common coins are. That eliminates cross-border cash exchange issues. Bitcoin is worth USD$9,052.29 in Ottawa, Mexico City, and Dhaka, and if there’s no necessity of exchanging it for USD, and it can just stay in Bitcoin during the transaction, then there’s no need to worry about whether or not you’re going to have enough. If the price of the pullup bar we bought is 1.3 LTC in Vancouver, it’s going to be 1.3 LTC is Bangladesh. Also, it mitigates the opportunity of any third-party agency to reach in and scoop their cut for currency conversion.

Shopify isn’t exactly new to crypto, either. The company has a previous partnership with crypto payments company BitPay, which enabled their stores to accept more than 300 cryptocurrencies. This system works with crypto-middleman Coinbase Commerce, and it’s not exactly clear what the company’s new deal with CoinPayments is going to mean for its previous arrangement. Maybe nothing.

In other Shopify news, they have recently joined with Mark Zuckerberg’s controversial Libra Association back in February, only months after PayPal, Stripe, eBay, Mastercard and Vodafone bounced. Last month, Libra moved away from its decentralized vision to a more limited, centralized stablecoin, backed by regulated stablecoins.

There’s no word on whether or not Libra will be one of the coin-options accepted at Shopify’s stores, but smart money’s on yes.

—Joseph Morton

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