Stephen Pair is the co-founder and CEO of BitPay, one of the largest and earliest bitcoin payment processing companies. Pair founded the company with Tony Gallipi in 2011 to encourage and provide a way for merchants to accept bitcoin payments. Before launching BitPay, Pair was a software engineer at IBM.
Pair acted as the chief technology officer of BitPay until 2014, when he became the CEO. In addition to payment services, BitPay offers Bitcore, an open-source platform for developers to build applications with Bitcoin. They also offer a BitPay bitcoin wallet for crypto beginners to store and manage their funds.
BitPay began garnering attention by 2013 when over 10 thousand merchants were processing bitcoin payments through their services. The company closed a Series A funding round in 2014, through which it raised $30 million. The round was led by venture capital firm Index Ventures.
In 2015, BitPay launched a bitcoin wallet service, and in the following year it launched a bitcoin debit card in the U.S., which was issued by Metropolitan Commercial Bank and could be preloaded with bitcoin to make purchases at Visa point-of-sale systems and take out cash at Visa ATMs. By 2016, the company was processing 200,000 bitcoin transactions monthly, and in 2017, it processed over $1 billion worth of bitcoin payments. BitPay carried out a Series B funding round in 2018, and raised $40 million.
In February 2020, BitPay announced it would be offering cryptocurrency payments at point-of-sale terminals for various merchants, taking its service into brick-and-mortar stores.