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BitPay has now helped over 10,000 merchants across the world accept payments in bitcoin.

The company, which was founded in 2011, only approved its 1,000th company this time last year, so it has experienced a huge surge in business over the past 12 months.

Of the merchants that use BitPay, some 50% are located in North America and 25% are in Europe. Over 90% of the merchants using the payment service provider are ecommerce businesses, and BitPay also counts blogging platform WordPress among its clients.

Tony Gallippi, co-founder and CEO of BitPay, said: "Our largest merchants are selling high-ticket items such as computers, electronics, jewellery, precious metals and bitcoin mining equipment."

He went on to say these businesses are more likely to get hit by criminals using stolen credit cards, so they are attracted by the prospect of accepting bitcoins as doing so reduces their risk.

Gallippi went on to say his company processes between $6m and $7m in merchant transactions each month, with transactions last month totalling $6.4m. Year-to-date in 2013, the company has transacted over $34m, equivalent to 270,830 bitcoins at today's Bitcoin Price Index.

QuickBooks

Last week, BitPay announced merchants could import their BitPay sales into online accounting software QuickBooks, which BitPay CFO Bryan Krohn said customers are "thrilled" about.

"It makes reporting their bitcoin sales just as frictionless as the payment itself," he added.

Funding

BitPay is based in Atlanta, Georgia, which Gallippi describes as a "hub for financial technology, especially in the payment and merchant acquiring space".

He said there is a cluster of "amazing" companies in the city that are focused on "delivering real results through innovation".

Investors clearly see BitPay in this light, as the company received $2m back in May in a funding round led by the Founders Fund. This VC investment firm consists of five partners who were founders or early investors in companies including Facebook, PayPal, Napster, and Palantir Technologies.

Competitors

BitPay may be leading the way as the merchants' payment service provider of choice, but that's not to say it's without competition. Coinbase recently tried to increase its share in the market by offering merchants free payment processing for the first $1m in orders received from customers.

BIPS also professes to be doing well, claiming to be the "largest provider of bitcoin payment solutions in Europe".

Kris Henriksen, founder and CEO of BIPS, said his company currently serves more than 15,000 EU-based customers from its offices in Denmark, with around 1,000 of these customers being merchants.

"It's going really well for the merchants' section of BIPS. We have quite a few certified and individual qualified partners now so we can reach so many more merchants," he explained.

Henriksen said some exciting developments are currently underway at BIPS, although he wouldn't reveal too much.

"What I can say is that we are going to be able to accommodate US customers when our new feature launches," he said.

Disclaimer: CoinDesk founder Shakil Khan is an investor in BitPay.

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