Less than a decade after its debut, Bitcoin constantly tops headlines and shows no signs of slowing down. The open-source currency allows transactions without a centralized authority or bank, making global payments easier for people and businesses.
But a lot of those businesses could use some help in getting started. That’s where BitPay comes in.
Founded in 2011, Alpharetta-based BitPay helps businesses accept Bitcoin payments and gives individuals tools to store, send, and pay with Bitcoin. Stephen Pair, its cofounder and CEO, is excited about the future of Bitcoin – not to mention the growing Alpharetta tech community.
“Over the next few years,” he says, “we think you’re going to start to see more and more software companies choose to locate up in the Alpharetta area.”
That’s partially due to the city’s proliferation of tech businesses, and financial technology businesses in particular — there are about 50 fintech companies currently in the region. There are also plenty of tech workers living north of Atlanta, and when BitPay announced its move to Alpharetta, job applications surged.
People want to work at BitPay, Pair says, “partially because of the convenience of being in Alpharetta and not having to commute down to Buckhead or Midtown, but also because of the industry we’re in and the excitement around what we do.”
Pair himself has long been interested in Bitcoin, because its cryptography, technology, and application as a payment system combine many of the elements that drew him to computer science. BitPay has experienced exponential growth with businesses that want to use bitcoin for B2B supply chain payments, and it powers payouts with Bitcoin for companies that need fast, cheap global payment disbursement.
Pair is ambitious for the company’s future, too. He envisions BitPay as a vehicle to help lower the cost of digital payments, and to unlock value for consumers hit hard by the fraud rates of legacy payments. Ultimately, Pair wants to help revolutionize how payments are conducted for businesses and individuals – and the technology-minded Alpharetta area is the perfect place to do that.
“Part of the reason for BitPay being in this area is because I wanted to create the job I wanted,” Pair says, “and not have to move out to Silicon Valley.”