We at Speed Commerce are huge fans of Magento, and as a technologist, I love both the idea and applications of Bitcoin. In this guide, I’m going to show you how to start accepting Bitcoin using your (self-hosted) Magento online store and Bitpay.com.  For those still unclear what a “bitcoin” actually is, here’s a quick video primer:

What is Bitcoin?

While the underpinnings of Bitcoin are rather complicated, you would be amazed at how simple it is to actually start accepting them on your Magento store, especially with companies like BitPay.com.


NOTE: This IS NOT a paid advertisement for BitPay, I’m just a super fan.

The first step to joining the digital currency revolution requires a Bitcoin payment processor. Much like credit card processors, a Bitcoin processor takes customer payment details, in this case, Bitcoins, and converts them to a traditional monetary format.

Unlike other Bitcoin processors, BitPay transfers the Bitcoins into your bank account each night. This nightly deposit is great for a couple of reasons. 1) It ensures you’re not losing money during a Bitcoin fluctuation (which happens often) and 2) BitPay doesn’t have a massive stockpile of Bitcoins on hand – making them less appealing to online criminals.

Currently, retailers like TigerDirect, NewEgg, and corporations including Virgin Galactic, gyft, and WordPress leverage BitPay, so why not set up a free account today?

Connecting BitPay to Magento

  1. Create a BitPay account https://bitpay.com/start
  2. Install the Magento Extention
    1. Go to http://www.magentocommerce.com/magento-connect/bitpay-payment-method.html
    2. Click “Install Now” and copy down the Extension Key
    3. Login to your Magento admin
    4. Go to System > Magento Connect > Magento Connect Manager
    5. Paste in your Extension Key and click “Install”
  3. Configure BitPay
    1. Go to System > Configuration
    2. Scroll way down on click “Payment Methods” on the left-hand menu
    3. Expand the Bitpay panel (if it’s not already expanded)
    4. Create a Pairing Code in BitPay https://bitpay.com/api-tokens
    5. Paste the generated pairing code into the Pairing Code field in Magento
    6. Click “Save”
  4. Test it out!
  5. You’re now ready to start accepting Bitcoins!

Promote, Promote, Promote!

Now that you’re accepting this exciting new currency, it’s time to shamelessly promote it to the world. Fortunately, for you – you early adopter – Bitcoin is still new and exciting. You’re now one of a handful of retailers that can proudly proclaim to the new generation of online shoppers, that you’re progressive, hip, and possibly even the bee’s knees.

Another tangible benefit of accepting Bitcoin is the online directories that list Bitcoin-accepting retailers. These marketplaces aren’t just good for SEO, they’re phenomenal at getting in front of a very passionate bunch of shoppers, who now see you “in their camp”.

  • SpendBitcoins.com
  • BitPay Directory
  • Bitcorati
  • WhoTakesCoin.com
  • BitcoinYellowPages

Go forth you mighty retailer into this new era of digital currency, and make sure to let us know when you start accepting Bitcoins in the comments below.

Photo Credit  Jason Benjamin