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2019

The state of crypto payment processing

 

By now, you've probably heard all about cryptocurrency, Bitcoin and Blockchain. It’s been a decade since Bitcoin sprang into existence, and Bitcoin paved the way for thousands of other cryptocurrencies (altcoins, in crypto slang). Amid all the cryptocurrency hype, it can be hard to keep track of what is actually happening in the strand of the cryptocurrency ecosystem that is perhaps most important to crypto's long-term survival: payment processing.

 

That's why developers may find themselves asking questions like these: How easy is it to set up an app to start accepting payments in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies? How many payment processing vendors support crypto? What does the process for integrating crypto payments into an app look like, and is it as easy as setting up payment processing in your app for fiat (i.e., traditional) currency?

 

If you think these questions don't matter, think again. There are a number of reasons for accepting payments from customers in cryptocurrency. Accepting crypto payments helps you reach a larger number of customers, especially in countries where certain types of traditional payment options are not widely supported. Crypto payments can also help to cut down on bank charges for both vendors and customers. And supporting crypto can help apps to stand out in crowded markets, just because of the buzz factor.

 

With this context in mind, this article surveys the state of cryptocurrency payment processing by evaluating available solutions and discussing what remains to be done to make crypto payment easier to integrate into applications.

 

Cryptocurrency Payment Processing Options

 

The payment processing solutions available for processing crypto payments are far outnumbered by those for processing fiat currency. The reason is quite obvious: Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are still in their infancy. A lot is left to be done to make crypto mainstream, especially when it comes to transaction times.

 

That said, there are certainly crypto payment processors out there. In no particular order, here are some popular options available to developers who want to integrate crypto payments into their apps.

 

  • Coinbase

Coinbase is a popular choice when it comes to cryptocurrency payment processing. In fact, it is one of the world’s largest Bitcoin exchanges, with some 20 million users and over $150 billion already traded on the platform.

 

Coinbase makes it possible to quickly begin receiving cryptocurrency payments (Bitcoin, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum) without having to pay any fees to accept crypto. Coinbase offers a variety of payment options. They include e-commerce plugins, libraries (Python, Ruby, Node.js, PHP), and SDKs (Android, iOs, Unity). Coinbase’s options make it a great choice for crypto payment processing for virtually any kind of app.

  

  • BitcoinPay

BitcoinPay makes it easy and inexpensive to start accepting Bitcoin payments. BitcoinPay offers developers several payment processing integration options to cater to any use case: API & Button, mail, point of sale, and e-commerce plugins (WooCommerce, OpenCar, Magento, and PrestaShop). BitcoinPay’s API gives developers “superpowers” by allowing developers to customize the payment process to suit their needs. And e-commerce plugins make it seamless to integrate into an e-commerce platform.

  

  • CoinGate

CoinGate processes Blockchain payments. That means it is not only limited to Bitcoin payments. It supports Litecoin, Ethereum, Dash, Golem, and several other cryptocurrencies. It offers integration options including e-commerce plugins, Bitcoin point of sale, Bitcoin payment API, and payment buttons. In addition, CoinGate charges low fees when withdrawing in fiat currency, such as USD or EUR.

  

  • CoinPayments

CointPayments is yet another cryptocurrency payment gateway that supports payments for Bitcoin and several other popular altcoins. Like the others, it offers e-commerce plugins, for even more e-commerce platforms. And CoinPayments offers many integration options that make payment even more simple: donation buttons, shopping cart button & plugin, invoice builder, API, Instant Payment Notification System (IPN), etc.

 

The cryptocurrency processors we’ve seen so far offer very similar integration options, distinguishing themselves in only a few places, such as the number of supported cryptocurrencies. Setting up your app to accept cryptocurrency payments using any of these solutions is akin to setting up payment processing for fiat currency.

 

What Remains to Be Done for Cryptocurrency Payments

Integrating and accepting cryptocurrency payments in applications is certainly possible, but there is still much to be done to make integration more seamless.

 

One major challenge is keeping cryptocurrency safe. In most cases, crypto transactions are irreversible, meaning that recovering funds from a fraudulent (or even just accidental) transaction is virtually impossible. This challenge requires developers to build extra safeguards into applications to ensure that each crypto transaction is valid before it begins.

 

Equally important is the payment processing time. With fiat payments, payments are processed within a few seconds and reflect in your account immediately. Cryptocurrency, however, takes longer to process, sometimes failing unexpectedly as a result. Certain cryptocurrencies are working to address this challenge, but Bitcoin, which remains the most popular cryptocurrency by far, takes very long to process — sometimes hours. Developers must also think about how to make sure their apps can accommodate very long transaction times, and make sure users remain aware of the state of a transaction until it is fully complete.

 

Final Thoughts

Even with the challenges inherent in cryptocurrencies that impede their widespread adoption, cryptocurrency payment processing, in general, is improving. Remember that the sector is barely a decade old; yet, there’s been so much innovation in a rather short time. Will crypto payment integration catch up with fiat payment integration? Probably, although it will certainly take some time before integrating crypto into your app is as easy as supporting fiat currency transactions using a simple solution like WorldPay's APIs.

 

Check out: Worldpay's Card-to-Crypto Exchange 

zacharyflower

New Trends in IDEs

Posted by zacharyflower May 14, 2019

As advances have been made in the practice of software development, it should come as no surprise that the tools we use to actually develop said software have evolved drastically as well. While everything from language improvements to testing advancements have been seen in recent years, one of the less "sexy," yet most important changes has been to the integrated development environments — more commonly known as IDEs — that developers rely on to actually write their code.

 

Now, don't get me wrong. Some of the most popular IDEs on the market today have been around for literally decades (I'm looking at you, VI), but even the forefathers of our modern-day code editors have received recent updates that more appropriately reflect the current state of software development.

 

new trends in IDEs

 

With this in mind, let’s take a look at some of the exciting changes that have impacted IDEs in the past few years.

 

Integrated Development Environments

 

It's no secret that the world is becoming more connected. As companies and developers alike have embraced the cloud, entirely new industries have been built. A great example of this is cloud-based version control services like GitHub, GitLab, and Bitbucket. Hosting your own source code repository is no longer a requirement for the majority of projects, which has led to more effective project management and collaboration through the additional features offered by these newer cloud-based services. Because of this shift in responsibilities, many IDEs have implemented features that integrate directly with these — and more — services, allowing for an increase in focus and a reduction in context switching when interacting with things like pull/merge requests, issue tickets, and even communication platforms.

 

To Pair (Or Not to Pair)

 

A side benefit of having such hyper-connected development environments is the enablement of remote teams. Organizations that have embraced the concept of pair programming no longer have to expect employees to be in the same room in order to work together. Many IDEs now offer functionality that allow multiple developers to work on the same set of code from entirely separate computers. While there are obvious benefits to this feature to be gained from within the same room, providing an avenue for remote teams to better collaborate is an excellent way to not only encourage remote work, but to embrace it.

 

While a number of IDEs offer support for remote pair programming, a great example in practice is Visual Studio Live Share. Live Share is a great remote collaboration tool within the Visual Studio IDE; however, it takes collaboration a step further by offering additional features like audio calls, group debugging, and even shared servers for privately viewing web applications and databases without exposing them to the Internet.

 

Cloud IDEs

 

Not every IDE lives on one single computer. To better facilitate consistency between development environments, several newer IDEs live entirely in the cloud. While the learning curve here can be a bit steep at first (every developer has a preferred IDE and different settings requirements), the primary advantage to cloud-based IDEs is a drastic reduction in resource requirements. When your development environment lives in the cloud, your working machine requires significantly fewer resources, which can in turn mean significant cost-savings for development machines.

 

While Cloud9 paved the way for cloud-based IDEs, an impressive contender with a free tier and self-hosted option is Codenvy. Recently acquired by Red Hat, Codenvy is a Docker-driven IDE built with developers in mind. A particularly useful feature of Codenvy is their cross-platform IDE support, allowing developers to use the tools that they are most comfortable with while syncing changes back to Codenvy for any additional work needed in the cloud.

 

Plug It In

 

While plugins and add-ons are hardly new, their rate of adoption by the open source community over the past several years has skyrocketed. Companies have started to create official plugins to improve the usability of their developer-focused services, while individual contributors can create much more tightly integrated environments with the services they choose to use. This allows for thinner, more performant IDEs that can be expanded to include only the functionality required by the end-user, rather than the historically robust IDEs that require significantly more resources to run.

 

Between Visual Studio Code and Atom alone — two of the most popular IDEs for web developers — the marketplace for IDE plugins is vast. With countless themes and color schemes, third-party integrations, and support for just about every programming language ever invented, plugins are an excellent way for developers to customize every inch of their IDE to create their perfect working environment.

 

Continuous Improvement and Your IDE

 

All of the above highlight how IDEs have become even better tools for developers in recent years. By way of parting, though, I’d like to emphasize that there remains even more that could be done — and will be. Don’t expect your IDE to stop evolving. Going forward, I suspect we’ll see features like more advanced predictive text suggestions or deeper integrations with external services in IDEs as the tools help developers write code even faster, more accurately and with less fuss.

 

Worldpay's 2018 Global Payments Report offers a comprehensive overview of the ways global consumers pay, from Argentina to Vietnam and everywhere in between. We took a look at 4 high potential emerging eCommerce markets in the 2018 report: India, China, Russia, and Brazil.

 

Worldpay ONE took a look at 4 emerging eCommerce markets: India, China, Russia, and Brazil to provide takeaways for developers looking to take their eCommerce business global. We looked at alternative payments and eWallets, cross-border eCommerce, and changing trends in the largest consumer markets (China and India are growing quickly).

 

Are you ready to expand your eCommerce business into new markets? Discover what tech trends and tech regulations you need to stay on top of with the Worldpay ONE Global Developer Insights report

Our top question (with over 1,000 views!) of the month comes from eegorov on sending a TransactionQuery request: 

 

Check out Evgeniy's question and our answer here. 

 

 

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