Bitcoin, a heavily underground peer-to-peer payment solution, is starting to peek its head above ground. Today, a payment solutions company called BitPay has announced $510K in investment, led by Shakil Khan, Barry Silbert, Jimmy Furland and Roger Ver.
Put simply, BitPay feels like it is positioned to become the equivalent to PayPal for the virtual currency payment processor rival, Bitcoin.
I spoke with BitPay’s co-founder and CEO, Anthony Gallippi, and he explained to my why Bitcoin has a huge opportunity to go more mainstream in 2013: “We definitely think it’s the future. We wouldn’t be spending our time if we didn’t think that.”
What makes Bitcoin so interesting is that it flies in the face of payment models that we’re used to today; it’s a push model rather than a pull one. When you give a website your credit card and billing information to buy something, the company is pulling money out of your account. Giving up that personal information isn’t the safest thing, and Bitcoin allows you to “push” the money to a company to buy something. This means that no personally identifiable information goes with it, making eventual identity theft and fraud nearly impossible during the transaction.