From Cryptocurrency to Cash: Exchanging Is Easier Than You Think

Crypto to cash payza

Going from cryptocurrencies, especially altcoins, to cash can be difficult. So we’ve compared the best solutions on the market for exchanging Bitcoin and altcoins to make your life a little easier.

Over the past week, Bitcoin and altcoin values have dropped dramatically. A month ago, the price of Bitcoin climbed above $3,000 USD for the first time, but on Sunday it dropped as low as $1,863.22 and remains below June’s lowest value at the time of writing. Ethereum, which reached nearly $400 in June, is now trading at half that value. And just about all other cryptocurrencies experienced a similar decline.

A cursory glance at the news coverage reveals a number of possible causes for this drop – which has seen the total cryptocurrency market capitalization decrease from a mid-June high of $115 billion to as little at $61 billion at its lowest point (so far) – but the most likely culprit is the imminence of SegWit, scheduled for August 1st.

Don’t know what SegWit is? Click here for our take on SegWit and the Future of Bitcoin.

In light of the past week (which some are preemptively calling a crash) we’ve decided to take a look at the best solutions available for cryptocurrency exchanges, and which services you can use to send Bitcoin to your Payza e-wallet or to acquire altcoins that you can later sell to Payza.

Since there are so many to choose from – hundreds of different exchanges which might seem indistinguishable to the casual Bitcoin user – we’ve collected the results from 10 different recent Best-Of lists from leading crypto publications, including Bitcoinist, The Merkle and 99 Bitcoins, to create the ultimate Top 5 list:

  1. Gemini

Unlike most others on this list, Gemini is a fully regulated exchange licensed in the US, meaning that they’re held to a similar set of rules and standards as a bank. Gemini sports a great, minimalist user interface but you can only trade in Bitcoin, Ether and USD and the service is only available in 42 states, Canada, the UK, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and South Korea.

PROS: Highly secure, user-friendly design, great analytics tools, no deposit or withdrawal fees.

CONS: Limited to USD, BTC and ETH, available in only a handful of locations.

  1. CEX.IO

Founded in London, England in 2013, CEX.IO trades in most major cryptocurrencies and support USD, EUR, GBP and RUB fiat currencies. The platform is intuitive and user-friendly but also powerful enough for professional traders, and has a good reputation for security.

PROS: Accepts credit cards, mobile-friendly, worldwide availability.

CONS: Long verification process, high deposit fees, limited customer support.

  1. Bitstamp

Making it onto over half of our lists, Bitstamp is the oldest exchange standing, having launched back in 2011. Both EUR and USD are accepted and multiple deposit methods (including credit card) are supported. As the third-largest Bitcoin exchange by volume, Bitstamp is a very reliable option.

PROS: Well-known for reliability, accepts credit cards, fee structure makes it a good choice for large transactions.

CONS: Poor user interface not recommended for beginners, can only trade Bitcoin for fiat currencies.

  1. Coinbase

Founded in 2012, Coinbase is a customer-centric exchange, meaning it’s an excellent place for people new to cryptocurrency. It’s one of the most popular solutions around because of its low transaction fees and ease-of-use, but Coinbase only supports a limited amount of features, currencies and countries.

PROS: User friendly, low fees, stored currency is insured, a variety of deposit and withdrawal methods supported.

CONS: Limited availability, only supports Bitcoin, Ether and Litecoin.

  1. Kraken

Almost as old as Bitstamp, Kraken was founded in 2011 as a Bitcoin exchange, and only recently expanded into altcoins. Unlike most on this list which require you to exchange fiat currencies to and from Bitcoin before trading in other altcoins, Kraken allows Ether, Ripple, ZCash, Monero and several others to be traded for fiat currency.

PROS: Reliable, supports a variety of trading pairs between cryptos and EUR or USD, low withdrawal fees.

CONS: High deposit fees, not the most intuitive design (recommended for experienced traders).

There is no shortage of Bitcoin and altcoin exchanges and opinion is very divided on which ones are superior. No exchanges appeared on more than 8 of the 10 “top exchanges” lists we consulted, so some reviewers found reasons to leave exchanges like Kraken and Coinbase off some lists.

Be careful if you decide to choose an exchange not on this list. Many other popular exchanges, such as Poloniex and Bittrex, do not support any fiat currencies and can only be used to exchange between different cryptos, meaning you won’t be able to sell your coins for cash.

Payza Unveils a Better Solution

If you’re frustrated by the lack of solutions on the market to turn Bitcoin and altcoins into cash, Payza has a great new option for you. The Payza Card and Payza cryptocurrency loading options let you go from cryptocurrency to cash in a matter of minutes. And we’re working on ways to make that process even smoother! Order your own Payza Card today and find out just how fast and simple it can be to turn digital money into cold hard cash.

PROS: Instant exchanges, load cryptocurrencies to the Payza Card instantly, over 50 cryptocurrencies and over 190 countries supported.

CONS: Identity verification is required to use Payza’s cryptocurrency services.

Payza Launches New Bitcoin SendMoney API for External Bitcoin Wallets

Payza Bitcoin Mass Pay

Payza continues to improve our Bitcoin services. Our latest feature, Bitcoin SendMoney API, makes it possible for merchants to send Bitcoin payouts to people who don’t have a Payza account. This new API makes it possible for payout merchants to pay all their affiliates in Bitcoin, whether they have a Payza account or not.

The new feature is similar to Payza’s existing SendMoney API, which allows you to send a payment without having to log in directly to your Payza account. It’s a great tool for those who want to further automate their payout system. Like our original SendMoney API, the new Bitcoin SendMoney API will allow merchants to send automated payments, but, unlike the original, Bitcoin SendMoney API lets users send bitcoins directly to a Bitcoin address. This gives merchants even more freedom and flexibility when paying affiliates, by giving them an easy option to pay affiliates outside of Payza’s network of members.

With the new Bitcoin Sendmoney API, merchants can enter a Bitcoin address and an amount in the currency of their choice. If BTC is chosen as the currency, that amount of Bitcoin will be sent, and when a fiat currency code is entered, our system will calculate the appropriate amount of Bitcoin to send based on the real-time exchange rate. The transactions created using this API will be treated as withdrawals and subject to the standard Bitcoin Withdraw processing time.

The Bitcoin SendMoney API will save you time and money by giving you the power to design automated Bitcoin payouts to anyone with a Bitcoin wallet address. By pairing our powerful APIs with Bitcoin payments, Payza offers you a whole new feature that we’re sure you’ll love!

To enable your Payza Business Account for API use, follow the instructions in our Payza Merchant Setup Guide. The required coding information can be found in our Reference Center.

Bitcoin Then and Now – Has Bitcoin Lived Up to Its Promise?

The early months of 2017 have been a very interesting time for Bitcoin. On January 2nd, Bitcoin maintained a value of $1,000 USD for the first time and only 5 months later it set its current record value of over $3,000. For a cryptocurrency that was worth only 25 cents per coin in 2010, this radical rate of growth has kept investors on the edge of their seats.

Soaring values can have their downsides though. Bitcoin is embroiled in a civil war caused by its scaling problem. Both sides know that a “fork” (an update to the code which runs the Bitcoin blockchain) is required for the currency to survive in the long-term, but the debate centers on whether a “hard” or “soft” fork is the optimal solution. A hard fork would split the code to effectively create a new blockchain with an increased block size, which would solve the scaling problem but make the “new” Bitcoin incompatible with the old. The alternative, a “soft fork”, known as Segregated Witness or SegWit, has been proposed as a way to increase the block capacity without splitting the code.

Opponents of SegWit have two concerns. The practical opposition is that the soft fork would not increase transaction speeds significantly enough to maintain Bitcoin’s lead in the cryptocurrency landscape. The philosophical opposition is that SegWit would undermine Bitcoin’s purpose: to be a decentralized alternative to fiat currencies, immune to political influence.

SegWit developer Peter Wuille addressed Bitcoin’s scaling problem by devising a method to “segregate” the transaction signature from the input data: the signatures used to validate transactions can be stored separately from the blockchain, increasing the chain’s capacity to store more data and process transactions more rapidly. The trouble is that this requires the signatures to be overseen by the Bitcoin Foundation, which some see as effectively “centralizing” control of the currency. To many, this stands in diametric opposition to the ideals Bitcoin was founded on – but is that really true?

The Whitepaper

In 2008, a mysterious figure known as Satoshi Nakamoto released a paper titled “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System”. In the 9-page whitepaper, the pseudonymous author (or authors) defines the technologies which make the blockchain possible, using an innovative proof-of-work scheme which solved the double spending problem by timestamping transactions into a public ledger on a peer-to-peer network. This allowed, for the first time, a fully automated and decentralized currency and laid the technological foundation for all cryptocurrencies today.

In the introduction to the whitepaper, Nakamoto writes:

“Commerce on the Internet has come to rely almost exclusively on financial institutions serving as trusted third parties to process electronic payments. While the system works well enough for most transactions, it still suffers from the inherent weaknesses of the trust based model. (…) What is needed is an electronic payment system based on cryptographic proof instead of trust, allowing any two willing parties to transact directly with each other without the need for a trusted third party. Transactions that are computationally impractical to reverse would protect sellers from fraud, and routine escrow mechanisms could easily be implemented to protect buyers.”

That is about as political as the paper gets. Nakamoto describes Bitcoin as a technological innovation which simplifies e-commerce transactions and security, without contextualizing it within an anarchic political frame. While in 2008 a lack of faith in fiat currencies was definitely part of the conversation among the early adopters of Bitcoin, the developer(s) of the blockchain chose not to define it in those terms.

If Bitcoin was not intended to stand in explicit opposite to fiat currencies, but was simply envisioned as a more modern and robust payment technology, is SegWit incompatible with its original intention? Technically, SegWit would change the fundamental design of the blockchain by separating the transaction data from the proof-of-work, which means the possessors of the proof-of-work would take on the role of a “trusted third party” – which is exactly what Nakamoto set out to eliminate in the development of Bitcoin.

On the other hand, if SegWit could be implemented in such a way that the proof-of-work is also a fully automated chain, operating in parallel to the blockchain and communicating with it, this would theoretically achieve the same results as the whitepaper envision, but with an updated design.

A Hard Fork

The alternative, the “hard fork”, would retain the fundamental design as laid out in the 2008 paper, with the only difference being to increase the capacity of the individual blocks in the chain. Currently, these 10-minute blocks are limited to a maximum size of 1MB, but Bitcoin has become so popular that it can no longer process all the transactions made within any given 10-minute period, creating a backlog.

The existence of this problem suggests that Nakamoto never dreamed Bitcoin would become so popular, but many investors believe this is still only the beginning. So far this year, the price of 1 BTC has already tripled and some analysts have gone so far as to make value estimates as high as $55,000 USD per coin by 2022. On paper, Bitcoin’s technology is ingenious, but can a truly decentralized currency really handle this level of popularity?

The debate over the hard or soft fork has made Bitcoin highly volatile in recent months, with optimistic investors doubling down on their stock and the more wary exchanging their Bitcoin for other altcoins such as Ether. And it’s no secret that when the inevitable fork happens the coin’s value will drop significantly in the short term as the new chain is tested and the old is abandoned, which raises a different perspective on whether Bitcoin has lived up to its promise. Bitcoin’s popularity is often credited to its position as an alternative to fiat currencies, which have lost trust due to the high level of geopolitical turmoil during the last decade. But if Bitcoin after almost 10 years still shows no sign of stability comparable to fiat currencies, can it really be considered more secure?

 

Payza is closely following the development of Bitcoin and altcoins and is committed to providing practical and innovative cryptocurrency services. Using our platform, you can buy, store, and sell Bitcoin and sell over 50 different altcoins right inside your account. For the latest updates and industry insights about Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, be sure to subscribe to our blog and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Payza’s Altcoin News Generates Headlines

payza news media coverage updates

Payza’s latest news regarding the expansion of our cryptocurrency services has not gone by unnoticed by the media. Here are some articles about Payza and our latest altcoins news:

Finance Magnates covers Payza’s latest cryptocurrency news

Back in 2014, Payza began supporting Bitcoin payments and purchases, and has been called a “Bitcoin-friendly payment processor”. In June this year, Payza added 50 different Bitcoin alternatives to its Cryptocurrency Exchange. “Payza has completed the loop, now allowing its verified users, through their e-wallets, to exchange their holdings of Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, Dash, Monero, Zcash and other cryptocurrencies into US dollars which can subsequently be loaded onto their prepaid cards.”

Last month, Payza announced their full Bitcoin support, which means that members can now buy and sell Bitcoin within their Payza account, merchants can accept Bitcoin as payment, and it is also possible for Payza members to hold Bitcoin within their e-wallets. Now members can do even more with Payza and cryptocurrency – they have the “option of having their fiat withdrawn into altcoins” and this feature also lets Payza members load their Payza Cards directly from Bitcoin or altcoin exchanges.

The full article from Finance Magnates can be found on their website: Payza Adds 50 Bitcoin Alternatives to its Cryptocurrency Exchange

The Paypers presents Payza’s new cryptocurrency exchange

Payza has expanded its Cryptocurrency Exchange, which means that Payza members now can deposit over 50 cryptocurrencies into their accounts. This means that members can sell Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, Dash, Monero, Zcash and many other cryptocurrencies in their Payza account and thereby receive US dollar directly in their e-wallets. This money can then be “loaded to their Payza Cards or withdrawn at an ATM”.

The full article from The Paypers can be found on their website: Payza cryptocurrency exchange accepts Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin

PaymentsSource covers Payza’s most recent currency exchange addition

“Payza is embracing the rise of new cryptocurrencies by opening its own exchange to more than 50 Bitcoin alternatives.” After announcing its full Bitcoin support last month, Payza now also lets its members sell and exchange many other cryptocurrencies than Bitcoin for US dollars, including Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, Dash, Monero, Zcash and many more.

The full article from PaymentsSource can be found on their website: Payza’s virtual currency exchange adds dozens of Bitcoin alternatives (subscription needed)

Crowdfund Insider observes Payza’s cryptocurrency exchange expansion

In June, Payza announced an expansion of its cryptocurrency exchange to include the “most popular Bitcoin alternatives”. Verified Payza members can now sell Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, Dash, Monero, Zcash and dozens of other cryptocurrencies to Payza, to thereafter be exchanged to US dollars in their e-wallets. These altcoins can in turn be loaded onto a Payza Card.

“Giving our members the option to sell altcoins to Payza is one more step in the direction of complete Bitcoin and altcoin support within the Payza platform, and another step closer to developing a robust and inclusive global payments system”, says Payza CEO Firoz Patel.

The full article from Crowdfund Insider can be found on their website: Payza Adds New Cryptocurrencies to Exchange, Including Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, Dash & Monero

Dash Force News highlights Payza’s big cryptocurrency announcement

Payza’s latest announcement regarding its integration of 50 additional cryptocurrencies into its platform means that the global payment processor and service has added support for dozens of the top cryptocurrencies. This allows Payza members to easily exchange most digital currencies for their local fiat currencies and these can in turn be loaded onto supported cards. “In the future, Payza plans to make this exchange go both ways, allowing customers to buy other cryptocurrencies as well”.

According to the article, Payza’s latest expansion of its cryptocurrency exchange comes as “Bitcoin’s dominance over the cryptoverse continues to slip” and “companies seeking to stay with the times are integrating other tokens into their business models”.

The full article from Dash Force News can be found on their website: Payza Integrates 50 New Cryptocurrencies, Including Dash

CryptoNinjas observes Payza’s addition of popular altcoins to its e-wallet

Payza recently announced full Bitcoin support and now the global online payment platform has “announced that members can now use select altcoins as an e-wallet funding method”. Payza members in most countries can now sell dozens of cryptocurrencies to Payza, including Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, Dash, Monero, and Zcash. Payza members that have a Payza Card can also use funds added by altcoins to load their cards, which gives them “an easy way to turn altcoins into US Dollars that can be spent online, in-stores, or withdrawn from most ATMs.”

Payza has even more plans – in the future, Payza members will be able to also buy altcoins from Payza. There are also plans to make it possible to load the Payza Card with funds from Bitcoin or altcoin exchanges, all in one simple step. “This new feature will bypass the need to first send those funds to a Payza Account, and then load them onto the card.”

The full article from CryptoNinjas can be found on their website: Payza adds list of popular altcoins as e-wallet funding method

Blockchain Technology News comments on Payza’s latest expansion

Payza has expanded its cryptocurrency exchange to “include a range of popular Bitcoin alternatives”, which means that Payza members can sell these to Payza and have them converted to US dollars directly in their e-wallets. Once converted, these funds can be loaded onto a Payza Card. “The company is selling this process as the simplest way to utilise their cryptocurrencies in the wider economy.”

The full article from Blockchain Technology News can be found on their website: Payza expands Cryptocurrency Exchange

How To: Add Funds and Load Your Payza Card Using Altcoins

Last week, Payza announced that along with Bitcoin members can now sell altcoins such as Ethereum, Ripple, Dash, Litecoin, Monero and dozens more to fund their Payza accounts and load their Payza Cards. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at how this new feature works.

Add Funds by Altcoin

Verified Payza members from most countries can now sell over 50 different altcoins to Payza. Completing an altcoin exchange is simple and takes less than a minute, here’s how to get started:

1) In your Payza account, click “Add Funds” in the top menu, then select “Altcoin”.
2) Select the altcoin to exchange and the deposit amount in altcoin. Click “Next”.
3) Review the details, enter your Transaction PIN, and click “Deposit”.
4) Payza will provide you with a unique altcoin address for you to send your altcoins and a set of instructions for completing your transaction.

While you will be shown an exchange rate for your transaction, please note that this rate will only be finalized once your transaction has been confirmed and your altcoins have been received. The final rate may be higher or lower than the initial exchange rate, depending on whether the market value of the altcoin has changed.

Read more about converting altcoins in the Payza Reference Center: How Do I Add Funds by Altcoin?

Important: You must create a new deposit and generate a new altcoin address for each Add Funds by Altcoin transaction. You will not be able to send future deposits to this altcoin address.

Loading Your Payza Card

If you already have a Payza Card, you can now load it with funds you earned by selling altcoins. As soon as those funds are received by Payza, you can instantly load them to your Payza Card. The same is true for funds you earned by selling or exchanging Bitcoin.

To load your Payza Card, just follow these steps:

1) In your Payza account, click “Withdraw Funds” in the top menu, then select “Payza Prepaid Card”.
2) Select the currency balance and the amount.
3) Review the details and click “Withdraw” to confirm your transaction.

This is the current process, but Payza’s team of developers is hard at work creating a simple, one-step cryptocurrency to Payza Card loading option. This option will give cryptocurrency enthusiasts a safe and easy way to turn coins into spendable cash in a matter of minutes.

Payza Cards can be used almost anywhere credit cards are accepted: online, in-stores, and even at most ATMs.

Exchange Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin and More: Sell Altcoins to Payza

Payza Altcoin Launch

Payza members can now use altcoins as an e-wallet funding method. Members in most countries can now sell Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, Dash, Monero, Zcash and dozens of other cryptocurrencies to Payza.

Recently, Payza announced full Bitcoin support. Now, Payza has added altcoins as a deposit option, letting verified members sell the most popular Bitcoin alternatives. Over 50 different altcoins can now be exchanged with Payza, the full list can be found by accessing the altcoin deposit option within your Payza Account.

Payza members with a Payza Card can use funds added by altcoin to load the prepaid cards, giving them a simple way to turn altcoins into US Dollars that can be spent online, in-stores, or withdrawn from most ATMs.

Payza is committed to giving our members a complete online payments solution, and that means incorporating Bitcoin and other popular cryptocurrencies into our platform. Providing our members with a way to sell altcoins to Payza is one more step in the direction of complete Bitcoin and altcoin support within the Payza platform.

In the future, Payza members will also be able to buy altcoins, similar to how they can currently buy Bitcoin from Payza. Our team is also working on a one-step Payza Card loading option that will allow members with a Payza Card to load it with funds from Bitcoin or altcoin exchanges in just one action. This new feature will bypass the need to first send those funds to a Payza Account, and then load them onto the card.

The list of altcoins that Payza accepts for exchanges will be constantly growing as more cryptocurrencies gain popularity. *For the launch, the following altcoins can be sold to Payza.

*This list has been updated on July 25, 2017.

Altcoins Available for Payza Exchange

Ethereum Ripple Litecoin
Dash Monero Zcash
Ethereum Classic Dogecoin FantomCoin
Synereo Aragon Basic Attention
Bytecoin Bancor Network Civic
Darcrus Decred DigixDAO
Edgeless Expanse GameCredits
Golos Gold Byteball Gnosis
Golem Golos Matchpool (Guppy)
LBRY Credits Lisk Lunyr
MaidSafeCoin Melon NAVCoin
NuBits Gulden Nxt
PIVX PotCoin QuazarCoin
Radium Augur iEx.ec
SinglularDTV Status Network Stellar Lumens (XLM)
Stratis SwarmCity Syscoin
Chronobank WeTrust (Trustcoin) TetherUSD
Waves Wings DAO Xaurum
DigitalNote XEM(NEM)

A Challenger Appears: Ethereum Approaches Bitcoin Market Capitalization

Ether Challenging Bitcoin

At the start of 2017, the global cryptocurrency market cap, that is, the total value of all cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Litecoin, was just under $18 billion USD. This was already a very promising increase from just $7.1 billion the year before. Compared to what was about to come however, even that increase seems minuscule. As of mid-June 2017, cryptocurrencies have reached a global market cap of just over $115 billion. That’s a 533% increase in less than half a year!

Payza has been keeping a close eye on the exciting new cryptocurrency trends, and in 2014, became one of the first e-wallets to allow its members to load and withdraw from their accounts using Bitcoin.

Until a few months ago, Bitcoin’s dominance, or the percentage of Bitcoin’s total value compared to the total combined cryptocurrency value, held steadily between 80% and 90%. Since March, however, there has been a tremendous rise in both awareness and value of Bitcoin alternatives, dubbed Altcoins. As a result, Bitcoin’s dominance has dropped significantly, making up just under 40% of total cryptocurrency value as of mid-June.

Trailing closely at 31% of the total cryptocurrency market cap, a challenger seems eager to take Bitcoin’s throne: Ether.

Ether

Built on the Ethereum computing platform, Ether (ETH) was released in May 2015 and has since gathered strong support from developers and investors alike, despite a hard fork in 2016 that prompted the creation of the Ethereum Classic (ETC). Following the success of the network and a growing market capitalization, multiple ventures are aiming to use Ethereum for projects related to finance, energy sourcing and pricing, sports betting, the internet-of-things, etc.

With an adoption rate that rivals that of Bitcoin, both experts and enthusiasts are becoming reluctant to use the term ‘altcoin’ when referring to Ether. There’s even speculation within the community that Ether will soon overtake the current leader, an event humorously named “The Flippening.”

The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance

With partners from multiple Fortune 500 companies (Microsoft, J.P. Morgan, Intel, etc.), research groups and blockchain startups, the nonprofit organization Enterprise Ethereum Alliance was established in March 2017 with a vision: to augment the Ethereum blockchain by creating a private version (currently known as EnEth 1.0), based on a reference architecture focusing on confidentiality, privacy, scalability and security. It will facilitate collaboration, as everything created will be open-source, making the EEA evolve alongside the public Ethereum community in harmony.

A Surge of ICOs

Part of the extraordinary increase in cryptocurrency value during the second quarter of 2017 is attributed to growing cryptocurrency awareness, the creation of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, but also to a multiplication of successful Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), crowdfunding campaigns dedicated to projects that build upon the Blockchain to provide solutions to existing problems or to future-proof the technology. Among the top ten crowdfunding projects, six are cryptocurrency-related, all based on the Ethereum blockchain: Bancor, the DAO, AEternity, MobileGo, Basic Attention Token and Aragon.

These projects, which have raised just over $477m, show tremendous support for the Ethereum blockchain, which was itself crowdfunded in September 2014 for $18m, a figure that pales in comparison of recent investments.

Altcoins and Payza

Payza has kept a watchful eye over all cryptocurrency developments, not just developments related to Bitcoin. As such, we’ve already started exploring and developing new ways to incorporate Ether and other Altcoins into our global online payment platform.

As cryptocurrency and blockchain technology advances, it is becoming increasingly clear that these currencies will make up a meaningful part of the global e-commerce ecosystem. The only questions that remain are which coins will emerge as the market leaders, and how much of global e-commerce volume will cryptocurrency payments make up?

SegWit and the Future of Bitcoin

Bitcoin SegWit

Bitcoin has a scaling problem.

When the cryptocurrency software launched in 2009, the nature of the blockchain technology on which it was built meant that there was a hard cap on the total amount of transactions that could be processed in a given amount of time. In the past eight years, the basic technology hasn’t really changed, but the user base has grown so large that the Bitcoin network is struggling to handle the transaction volume, and unless something changes, this issue will only get worse over time.

Blockchain technology was designed by the anonymous developer(s) of Bitcoin and has come to be a core technology in almost all cryptocurrencies today. The Blockchain is a public ledger where all Bitcoin transactions are recorded and bundled into 10-minute blocks which are limited to a maximum size of 1MB. The scaling problem is the result of this size limit; Bitcoin has become so popular that it can no longer process all the transactions made within any given 10-minute period.

The Solution

To address this problem, developer Pieter Wuille has introduced to concept of SegWit, short for Segregated Witness. SegWit addresses Bitcoin’s scaling problem by “segregating” the transaction signature (the “witness”) from the input data. In short, signatures, which validate transactions, would be stored separately from the blockchain. This will free up more space within each block to store more transaction data and help streamline transaction processing.

Since signatures make up about 65% of the size of the input data, removing them can increase the effective block capacity by more than double. On top of that, SegWit also solves the problem of transaction malleability, a minor security flaw which makes it possible for hackers to change the signature of a transaction before the block is confirmed, which invalidates any later transactions in the chain.

SegWit2x

The trouble with SegWit is that this still may not be enough to completely fix the problem. Bitcoin is growing so rapidly – now with over 10 million users making hundreds of thousands of transactions per day – that even doubling the capacity of a block is only a temporary solution. This was pointed out by the Bitcoin mining community, who took a stance against the developers, favoring a hard fork over the latter group’s proposed solution.

A hard fork is what happens to a blockchain when a new rule chain is introduced to the software that makes it incompatible with the previous version. For example, to upgrade the Bitcoin network in order to allow block sizes to increase from 1MB to 2MB would create a hard fork.

After some debate, the two parties have agreed to a compromise called SegWit2x, with the mining community agreeing to Segregated Witness in return for the execution of a 2MB hard fork within 6 months of SegWit implementation.

Litecoin

However, SegWit2x may be too little too late. Ironically, the sheer popularity of Bitcoin, which led to the scaling problem in the first place, meant that there were too many interested parties that needed to agree to the upgrade, causing the execution of SegWit to be delayed (it was originally suggested in 2015). Bitcoin competitor Litecoin recently executed the SegWit upgrade to their blockchain.

Litecoin, even though it is the 5th largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, is smaller than Bitcoin and therefore in a better position to adapt to the latest technologies available. Franklyn Richards, Litecoin Foundation director, initially admitted that the implementation of SegWit could serve as a test for Bitcoin, but the announcement in late March caused such a renewed interest in the Bitcoin competitor that Litecoin’s value tripled during the month of April and has doubled again since then, growing from roughly $5 USD to around $30.

This success has led many to speculate that Bitcoin missed their opportunity to capitalize on SegWit, leading segments of the cryptocurrency community to abandon the most popular coin in favor of newer, more innovative options.

The Future of Bitcoin

Bitcoin was originally developed with the goal of creating a decentralized currency, free of influence from political forces and the banking industry, and grew popular because of those ideologies. While it’s necessary for the developers of Bitcoin to make changes in order for the currency to survive, many Bitcoin enthusiasts believe that the proposed changes give too much power to the Bitcoin Foundation, thus making the currency no longer decentralized. If Litecoin or another altcoin develops a better way to solve the scalability problem while maintaining decentralization, it may spell the end of Bitcoin as we know it.

The power of digital currencies in today’s economy cannot be understated, as more people and companies invest in cryptocurrencies and retailers large and small begin accepting them as forms of payment both online and in-store. To learn about some of the leading Bitcoin competitors, check out our Beyond Bitcoin series:

Visit the Payza Blog regularly as we will be following cryptocurrencies closely in 2017 and follow us on Twitter and Facebook for e-commerce news from around the web.

Payza Receives Recognition and Awards from FinTech Community for Cross-Border Payments Initiatives

Payza Press Release

Launches numerous services targeting rapidly developing regions and quickly captivates cross-border payments market

Payza, an award-winning global online payment platform, is quickly gaining recognition as a leading payments solution in the cross-border payments sector for their ongoing eCommerce and remittance offerings. Among this year’s achievements, the company is proud to announce their recent victories for the Customer Choice Award for Best International CNP Program at the 2017 CNP Expo and the Online Payment Method Award at the 2017 Merchant Payments Ecosystem conference.

Payza has been pushing the boundaries in the international payments industry for over 5 years, by consistently delivering innovative solutions and convenient services, supported by top-of-the-line customer service. With a strong focus on eCommerce for 2017, the company’s emphasis has been on cross-border business offerings worldwide, in many cases, by offering local currency solutions and specialized local funding options such as Boleto and Oxxo to encourage domestic economic growth. Another of the company’s core offerings has been their facilitation of remittances: these peer-to-peer transfers across borders, have proven foundational to the international marketplace.

“We helped raise the bar of how shoppers and merchants around the globe interact with online payments in a convenient and secure way,” said Payza CEO, Firoz Patel. “Our success could not have been achieved without our loyal international community. We have a deep appreciation for all our members and are eager to offer continued quality services to meet the needs of today’s global online consumer.”

Patel was recently invited to speak at the Payments Canada Summit in Toronto, Canada’s premiere payments conference, regarding ‘The Building Blocks of a Global Payments Ecosystem Driven by Innovative Payment Platforms’.  Mr. Patel offered a compelling presentation on how these new payment platforms, such as Payza, are providing payment services to the unbanked and under-serviced, leading to a fundamental change in how entire communities interact with the global online marketplace.

More recently, Payza became the first payment network to include bitcoin within its eWallet. Unsurprisingly, this announcement spurred excitement within the FinTech community and received notice across international media outlets. Since the company first began offering Bitcoin services to their members in 2014, it has become one of their most popular features. The company is actively working on the release of several other cryptocurrency services for 2017, including Altcoin exchanges and instant Bitcoin funding options for the Payza Card, the company’s reloadable prepaid card.

“Consumer demand is actually what’s making the change right now,” said Mr. Patel in a recent interview with Alastair Greener at Telegraph Studios for Business Reporter’s Future of Payments. “The trends are being determined by their needs, and their needs are dictating that people are looking for faster, easier methods of payment. They just want something more like a one-stop-shop.”

About Payza
Payza is an award-winning payments technology platform, owned by MH Pillars Ltd. The highly secure platform provides businesses and consumers around the world with practical solutions for processing online payments. Payza supports 26 currencies and serves over 13 million members in more than 190 countries.

Payza serves traditional and emerging markets, providing a wide range of built-in tools including: Online payment processing, online global money transfers, fraud screening, subscription billing, transaction dispute resolution, cryptocurrency exchange services, and global payouts.

More information is available about Payza on its website (http://www.payza.com), Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and the company’s blog.

To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/payza-receives-recognition-and-awards-from-fintech-community-for-cross-border-payments-initiatives-300470072.html

Payza’s Complete Payment Solution for Businesses Using Bitcoin and Fiat Currencies

Payza Bitcoin API

In Payza’s latest Bitcoin update, the company announced that members can now hold Bitcoin right in their Payza e-wallets. This has a big impact on merchants who want to be able to accept payments in Bitcoin and traditional fiat currencies. It’s also exciting news for businesses who need to make Bitcoin payouts to their affiliates.

As a merchant, there are several ways to take advantage of Payza’s new Bitcoin features. You can now accept payment in Bitcoin, you can even set prices for your items directly in Bitcoin instead of having to peg that amount to a fiat currency. Bitcoin you receive can now be held right within your Payza e-wallet. You can instantly convert those Bitcoin to fiat currency whenever you like.

Bitcoin services for merchants

Payza is proud to offer new Bitcoin services for our merchants.

To complete our new range of Bitcoin services, we’re also updating our APIs to help merchants who make regular Mass Payments.

Automate your Bitcoin payouts

Payza’s MassPay API and Payza’s SendMoney API already make it possible for merchants to send multiple payments in a single click to other Payza members. These payments can be made in any currency Payza supports, which now includes Bitcoin.

But what if you need to make Bitcoin payouts to affiliates who don’t have a Payza account? That will soon be possible too. Payza’s team of developers is updating our APIs to let you send Bitcoin to other Bitcoin wallets with just one action. This will help you automate your payouts, regardless of where and how your recipients want to receive their payments.

If you make regular payouts in both Bitcoin and fiat currency, chances are right now you are using multiple solutions to facilitate your payments. With Payza, you can soon make all of your payouts using just one system, saving you time and trouble. Your affiliates will love it too, thanks to Payza’s low fees for Bitcoin transactions.

When using Payza’s APIs to automate your Bitcoin payouts, you’ll soon have two options on where to send those bitcoins. You can either use your recipient’s Payza email address to send bitcoins right to their Payza e-wallet, or you can enter their Bitcoin wallet address to send Bitcoin to an external wallet.