BitPay CEO Tony Gallippi made a case at Bitcoin 2013 for why the digital currency needs payment networks like his.

With services like his, Bitcoin is far more secure and affordable than credit cards, Gallippi argued.

Anthony Gallippi Bitcoin 2013“The peer-to-peer payment network that Bitcoin is, it’s not really that new, when you look at the three technologies that it brings forward,” Gallippi said, referring to the cloud, mobile and open source. “Bitcoin is an accounting ledger in the cloud.”

The digital currency is much more than that, though, he added.

“These are three growing trends in the world today, and Bitcoin is all three,” Gallippi said. “Bitcoin is in the cloud, Bitcoin is fully mobile, and Bitcoin is open source.”

Accepting bitcoins without the help of a payment network is like other do-it-yourself projects that can risk sometimes disastrous outcomes, Gallippi said, illustrating his point with photos of fails like an ATM machine installed high out of users’ reach, and a bathroom faucet that ran water onto the counter instead of into the basin.

In the world of bitcoins, Gallippi continued, DIY involves installing and securing your own software, creating your own automation, and assuming the risks of volatility, complex financial reporting and all sorts of legal and regulatory uncertainties.

“Companies say, I understand the value, but I don’t want to touch this with a 10-foot pole,” he said. “Too much risk.”

With a service like BitPay’s, on the other hand, clients can get full automation and daily direct deposits in dollars if that’s what merchants want, Gallippi said. That means merchants need never actually hold any bitcoins, he said, which eliminates their exposure to the currency’s notorious volatility.

“We try to make it easy to accept Bitcoin,” he said.

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