BitPay CTO: Visa and MasterCard Will 'Leverage' Bitcoin

Stephen Pair told CNBC that his company believes traditional payments giants will soon have to implement bitcoin.

AccessTimeIconMay 19, 2014 at 9:30 p.m. UTC
Updated Apr 10, 2024 at 2:55 a.m. UTC

US-based bitcoin merchant processor BitPay is in direct competition with major credit card providers, and as such, the company expects these market players to one day begin using bitcoin.


's CTO, Stephen Pair, recently discussed this stance with CNBC in a broadcast interview that centered on his company's place in the payments space.

Pair said that the technology behind companies such Visa and MasterCard is antiquated, and that as a result, these financial giants will turn to digital currency, telling CNBC:

"When we were first contemplating this business, we looked at what it would take to solve the payment fraud problem with credit cards, which were designed in the 1950s. Our conclusion was that you would end up reinventing bitcoin".

Consumer adoption

Pair told CNBC that BitPay believes big companies in the payments world will have no choice but to implement bitcoin, saying:

"That gave us a lot of confidence going forward that, if and when MasterCard and Visa get into the space, that they would actually leverage the bitcoin technology rather than directly compete with it."

Of course, the issue of low consumer adoption weighs on the mind of many in the bitcoin industry.

The problem can be attributed to poor public perception, banking issues and a lack of easy ways getting started with bitcoin. Credit card companies could make using bitcoin easier, although BitPay, Coinbase and Circle may prefer to do it first.

The next big thing

BitPay has been able to score some major brands that now accept bitcoin using its payment system. Both Wordpress and TigerDirect are prime examples of major brands willing to accept digital currency.

Pair hinted that there would be more to come, and said major organizations continue to examine the benefits of digital currencies for consumers.

Further, he added that major companies are always looking several years down the road for what the next big thing will be. Pair believes that widespread bitcoin acceptance could come faster than most people think:

"I think [bitcoin will arrive] a lot sooner than people imagine today. I think many of them are looking at it already."

The TV appearance follows BitPay's 30m Series-A funding round, which was formally announced on 13th May and included Richard Branson and Peter Thiel's Founders Fund, among others.

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

Image via CNBC


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