Accepting Bitcoin

Bitcoin Merchant services

  • The simplest way to accept Bitcoin is to use a merchant service that converts Bitcoin to local currency and deposits it into a bank account.
    • Accepting Bitcoin is similar to accepting PayPal
    • Once carts are configured to accept Bitcoin there is generally no ongoing maintenance.
    • Since transactions are irreversible funds can be deposited the next day and there are no chargebacks!

Managing Bitcoin payments yourself

  • Bitcoin can be accepted yourself by simply opening up a Bitcoin wallet and getting a Bitcoin address.
    • By using a Bitcoin wallet software wallet running on your computer there are no requirements, such as identity verification or even having a bank account.
    • This requires the user to be responsible for security and backups!
  • Offline “cold wallets” should be used for online transactions which means the secret “private keys” needed to spend the funds are always kept on an offline computer.
  • Bitcoin addresses can be generated offline and assigned to customers as they pay.

Merchant payment protocol

  • A new merchant payment protocol (BIP70) allows a user to connect directly to a merchant’s web site and process a Bitcoin transaction using an invoice.


  • Micropayment are problematic since the transaction fee system is still in a  state of flux and ‘spam” transactions could disrupt the system.
  • Services offer “off-Blockchain” or private ledger transactions that are settled after many microtransactions.


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