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What’s Your Bitcoin Strategy? WordPress Now Accepts Bitcoin Across The Planet

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By Jon Matonis
Friday, November 16, 2012

Best CEO Toni Schneider in 2007

I awoke to incredible news this morning. Leading web publishing service announced that they will begin accepting the nonpolitical cryptographic money Bitcoin as a payment method for various upgrades.

Then I remembered that powers our online publishing platform. It also powers the blog platform for The New York Times, CNN, Reuters, Mashable, NBC Sports, GigaOm, TechCrunch, ELLE Girl, RealClearPolitics, TED, National Football League, General Motors, UPS, eBay, Sony, and Volkswagen.

only does this strategic move bring new unserved customers into the
WordPress fold, it paves the way for the online publishing platform run
by parent company Automattic
not to be restricted by the choices of its payment partners. Companies
doing business and accepting payments globally are subject to increasing
fees and sometimes arbitrary chargebacks which no doubt impact their
bottom line. WordPress would probably not even mind if a large chunk of
their mainstream payment processing migrated to bitcoin.

Over 57.8 million WordPress sites are written in 120 different languages creating nearly 32 million new user posts each month.

the centralized bankcard associations and citing payment method
deficiencies, WordPress spokesperson Andy Skelton said, “Unlike credit
cards and PayPal, Bitcoin has no central authority and no way to lock
entire countries out of the network. Merchants who accept Bitcoin
payments can do business with anyone.” And thus the planet becomes
immediately open to their products and services.

“PayPal alone
blocks access from over 60 countries, and many credit card companies
have similar restrictions,” continued Skelton. “Some are blocked for
political reasons, some because of higher fraud rates, and some for
other financial reasons. Whatever the reason, we don’t think an
individual blogger from Haiti, Ethiopia, or Kenya
should have diminished access to the blogosphere because of payment
issues they can’t control.” [Note: updated their original
blog post which mentioned Cuba and Iraq.]

Vitalik Buterin of Bitcoin Magazine
brings up an equally significant reason for accepting payment in
Bitcoin, “Another argument which WordPress did not mention is anonymity.
Many bloggers that operate in restrictive regimes do so using
pseudonyms for their own protection, and traditional payment methods
like credit cards and PayPal are unusable for those bloggers because
they expose the payer’s physical identity.” With user-defined anonymity
and identity privacy, bitcoin offers unparalleled safety to dissident
bloggers and free speech advocates.

Initially, processing will be managed by payment service provider BitPay, Inc. of Orlando, Florida. BitPay
shields WordPress from having to handle actual payments by immediately
converting and transferring sales proceeds into a WordPress merchant
bank account. This minimizes the currency risk for the accepting
merchant. An important configurable option also allows the merchant to
retain Bitcoin balances for their own account and subsequent usage.

WordPress states that they are not waiting for a sufficient number of
confirmations from the bitcoin block chain, it is largely irrelevant for
e-services since upgrades can simply be deactivated or reversed due to a
failed payment.

WordPress may not stand as the lone giant for very long since Reddit CEO Yishan Wong hinted
last week at the social news site’s willingness to begin transacting in
Bitcoin for Reddit Gold subscriptions. Reddit is a subsidiary of Condé
Nast’s parent company, Advance Publications.

the bitcoin juggernaut continues to roll forward absorbing merchants
and customers globally it leaves archaic and unsuspecting payment
methods in its wake. As one bitcoin forum member articulated, merchants will increasingly be asked: “What’s your Bitcoin strategy?”



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