Bitcoin payment processor GoCoin is now accepting litecoin. The firm, formed in July, expanded its portfolio to include the altcurrency this week.
"Litecoin has reached the tipping point in our minds with sufficient liquidity to support merchant activities," said GoCoin CEO Steve Beauregard. "Like with our bitcoin interface, we are building in safeguards in the event the volatility becomes extreme in the wrong direction.
GoCoin, which raised $550,000 in venture funding in November, has been testing litecoin services with early adopters since late last month.
"We have not been focused on volume, we've been focused on functionality and workflow so we can scale quickly," Beauregard said.
Roughly 20 merchants a day are signing up for the service, which offers the same transaction fees as for GoCoin's bitcoin processing: 1% for the first $2,500 per month, decreasing after that on a sliding scale.
The firm offers an open API, client libraries for PHP, Java, and Node.js for developers that want to integrate with their own websites. It will shortly follow this up with integration options for Microsoft's .Net.
Merchants can retrieve their payments either in altcoins or in periodic wires of fiat currency based on thresholds that they set.
The more the merrier, said Charles Lee, litecoin's founder. "I am very excited about GoCoin supporting Litecoin. As I've always said, the end goal is merchant adoption," he said, pointing to Overstock's adoption of bitcoin via Coinbase last week. "People are starting to realize that bitcoin/litecoin is a great one-two punch," he continued. "I'm looking forward to seeing Litecoin being accepted everywhere."
Lee works for Coinbase, a dominant payment processor in the bitcoin market that is not supporting Litecoin. "We think Litecoin is great, but no current plans to add support," confirmed Brian Armstrong, CEO for Coinbase. "There is enough complexity trying to bring Bitcoin to the mainstream right now, and we don't want to add any additional confusion. For people who are first learning about digital currency, the learning curve can be quite steep.
Beauregard differentiated himself from Coinbase, which offers a wallet and bitcoin sales alongside its merchant services.
"GoCoin has a laser focus on providing services to merchants and not trying to be all things to all people out of the gate," he said. "We will align with other best of breed solutions like ExpressCoin that have an equally sound focus to provide integrated solutions."
He also identified a "second movers advantage," much as Google did with AltaVista and Yahoo!. GoCoin's offshore status (its headquarters are in Singapore) also protects it from regulatory pressures, he added.
The firm will support other altcoins in the future but has no specific candidates yet.
'Green shoots' image via Shutterstock