Newegg — which has approximately 36 million customers and was one of the first well-known companies to accept cryptocurrency payments — made the announcement on Tuesday, explaining that Bitcoin payments have represented a “small but growing stream of purchase transactions” in the US and that the retailer wanted to make the feature available to Canadian customers as well.
“In 2014 Newegg was among the first major companies to offer customers a bitcoin payment option,” said Danny Lee, Newegg’s CEO. “Since that time the value of bitcoin has skyrocketed and customers holding bitcoin have considerably more purchasing power. We believe the time is right to broaden our acceptance of bitcoin to our customers in Canada.”
Like most merchants, Newegg does not accept the cryptocurrency directly. Rather, it uses BitPay, a third-party payment processor, who, for a small fee, converts the coins into fiat currency at the point of sale.
BitPay will continue to serve as Newegg’s Bitcoin payment processor as it expands this feature into Canada.
“Newegg was an early e-commerce adopter of bitcoin, and that leap of faith the company took in 2014 put Newegg on the map as a bitcoin-friendly place for tech enthusiasts to shop,” said BitPay CEO and co-founder Stephen Pair. “We’re seeing a lot of traction in Canada, and we’re happy to see Newegg extend its bitcoin payment option north of the border.”
The retailer’s announcement is welcome news for cryptocurrency enthusiasts, as rising transaction fees had led several merchants to shutter Bitcoin payments in recent months (fees have since declined to more reasonable levels as network congestion has decreased).
Payment processing firm Stripe recently announced it would begin phasing out Bitcoin payments, though it may add support for Stellar (to whom it provided seed funding) or other cryptocurrency projects in the future.
More recently, Reddit — which began accepting Bitcoin for its premium memberships when BTC was priced less than $25 — removed the payment option last week. A Reddit admin chalked the option’s removal up to Coinbase’s merchant services overhaul but said the company had not decided whether it will reenable Bitcoin payments when the new platform is live.