How did I choose a payment system and why did we add Bitcoin as a payment option

    Recently, we added to the site of our wonderful Prague project with city GPS guides a full-fledged opportunity to make payments by credit cards directly on the site, as well as the ability to use Bitcoin for payment. In this regard, I decided to share with the readers of our wonderful IT newsletter my experience, plus some of my own thoughts.

    I’ll start, perhaps, with the second part, as long as I consider it more significant and affecting the fundamental issues of the future cryptocurrencies.

    So now the price is displayed with us when choosing options. At the top of the Euro, lower, the cost of services in BTC at the current rate (-30% discount)

    Bitcoin and its market

    Over the past year, we have been observing an exponential increase in interest in cryptocurrencies and the ideas that they brought with them and which in the future have every reason to have a significant impact, both on the economy and social relations, and, possibly, in the long term on the structure of society as a whole. For example, I observe with great curiosity the Etherium project and its implementation of Maidsafe . I will not delve into the descriptions (those interested can find detailed information in publicly available sources), however, I highly recommend that you pay attention if you have not heard anything about these projects.

    One way or another, despite such vigorous interest and even the attention of such “sharks” as Virgin and DELL, cryptocurrencies themselves are, alas, not yet able to go beyond the relatively small circle of enthusiasts of the emerging market. Yes, and it’s difficult to call it a full-fledged market, since we are mainly talking about the use of cryptocurrencies as an investment resource or tool. Those. simply put, participants either exchange cryptocurrencies or invest in a purchase in the expectation of a rising rate. There are a number of large players with serious resources for calculating hash amounts and an army of small miners participating in pools. Those. it can still be regarded as a “segment of expectation”. Real business, as such, is still vanishingly small and the growth trend, in my opinion, is not as pronounced as it could be.

    A self-evident question, which, I believe, many happy BTC owners and those interested in themselves periodically ask: what is the future of BTC in this situation? A couple of months ago, I met with my longtime buddy economist, a man of very progressive views, it should be noted. According to him (and I completely agree with him) for BTC at the moment there are two main problems: 1) a very uneven distribution of savings 2) the lack of a real market. Moreover, the second thesis pulls the first.

    Actually, the result of our conversations and my own thoughts was that I
    a) found a number of interesting publications and links on the topic
    b) attached Bitcoin payment to the site of our project with GPS audio guides

    This is how the payment interface looks on our website when choosing the Bitcoin option. You can copy the payment line through the clipboard or use the QR code.

    A few words about the integration of Bitcoin payments

    The procedure itself turned out to be so simple that perhaps even my short description would seem unnecessary. Nevertheless, I will devote a couple of lines to this in order to demonstrate the simplicity of the process for those who may be planning such an integration, but are not sure of the resource costs.

    Until the last moment, I was convinced that in order to carry out full-fledged BTC processing, I would need to keep a full-node wallet on the server (on the same or remote) with its own script, generating one-time wallet numbers for receiving payments or registering on some of the newly made online services. It turned out that everything is nowhere easier. provides a simple and reliable API interfaceto make a payment. No registration, no bureaucracy, no deductions. All in full accordance with the spirit of the idea and its purpose.$receiving_address&callback=$callback_url

    The get request returns a freshly generated wallet number. In the same request, you send the number of your main wallet, where the payment will come in the end. Another request will show the amount in BTC converted at the current rate.

    Immediately after a request is made, a callback begins to periodically arrive at the URL indicated there, with all the data about the payment being processed and receipt of confirmations. You yourself are free to decide after how many confirmations you consider your payment to be reliably “past” (6 confirmations - a standard statistically significant value). Then you show “ok” in response to a callback and you can consider the payment to have been completed. You can send a registration confirmation to the client and a notification to the manager or partner about the new order.

    As you know, for BTC payment verification is not fast. On average, as practice has shown, it takes from 20 minutes to an hour to receive 6 confirmations. Therefore, this currency is predicted for positions that do not require instant payment. In our case, this is the perfect solution. However, many enthusiasts use Bitcoin for faster operations, lowering the threshold of confirmations. Some time ago I visited The Pembury Tavern in Hackney (London). The bar is noteworthy in that it is one of the few institutions in London that accepts BTC as payment. The bartender says that they do not specifically wait for 6 confirmations. When I asked about customer confidence, the bartender smirked and said that first of all, visitors usually come to a much longer time than necessary for 6 confirmations. Secondly, people in general, as you know, are not prone to deception,

    This is how it all looks. Masha Borodich acquires a pint of Irish ale using the Bitcoin currency (the frame from the video clip that we shot for the movie “Cryptorevolution”)

    And this is a check from The Pembury Tavern bar. This unique artifact was, of course, left as a keepsake.

    I am well aware that the businesses existing in Russia live in an atmosphere of constant apprehension and are used to constantly looking at the regulatory authorities and the “crazy printer”. And the bureaucratic machine, being the embodiment of the archaic collective unconscious known cooperative, does not sleep and from time to time gives out all kinds of pearls. However, on the other hand, if you do not try to do something in this direction, introduce and convince others of the need to use cryptocurrencies in the real sector of the economy, then no positive changes will occur. In addition, as I dare to assume, many readers of Habré work with clients outside of Russia, and in this case the question of formal barriers overwhelmingly disappears. Nothing but goodwill and enthusiasm is required.

    Perhaps it sounds like another banal eulogy. But in fact, it seems to me that the idea of ​​shifting the cryptocurrency market towards real production of goods and services requires its distribution and active discussion. The time for this has obviously come.

    Alternative PayPal for accepting regular credit cards

    I want to say right away that a miracle did not happen. I was able to find an acceptable solution, however, as it turned out a little later, PayPal firmly established its position as a global monopolist in the market of online payments for small businesses and with competitors is still a serious "strain". But first things first ...

    Actually, unlike Bitcoin payment integration, changing the merchant partner was a spontaneous decision for me and the reason was more prosaic.

    At the very start of our tourist GPS audio venture, I thought that initially integrated payment via PayPal should be more than enough for a long time. I made some attempts to agree with my bank on accepting payments directly, but they asked for money for integration and did not make any concessions. So Paypal was chosen as the simplest and most obvious solution. With this, we actually lived for a year.

    However, at the end of last year, we began to receive complaints from customers that when paying with a credit card, PayPal asks to register as a client, otherwise it refuses to make a payment. At first, I did not attach much importance to this, writing off a complaint about the banal carelessness of the client. But, after such questions were repeated, I still decided to check what was the matter. And surprisingly ... I did not find any problems. My Visa Electron payment went off with a bang. No logins, no passwords.

    However, a little later I decided to check the same procedure with my Czech card. And viola ... saw new fields and checkboxes in the familiar PayPal interface. It became clear that PayPal does this selectively and only for some of the cardholders, At least for Eastern Europe (and, apparently, for Russia). In general, without hesitation, I decided that the time had come and went to delve into the network to search for the “right” merchant partner in order to get rid of the “obsessive hegemon”.

    It quickly became clear that almost everything on the market was “old players in a new way”. Those. obligatory fixed payment, poor API or its absence (the participation of company specialists is assumed) as well as archaic models of communication and a lot of bureaucracy. Nevertheless, there were three very worthy candidates:

    I would choose Stripe as the most ideologically attractive and independent option. But, since I initially planned to ideally find the opportunity to receive payments directly to a bank account in the Czech Republic, I decided to stop at BrainTree. Stripe does not have such an opportunity yet, however, the employee with whom I corresponded assured that plans also include expansion towards the European market. BrainTree was beautiful in everything. The excellent Sandbox and API allowed me to “sew” a new interface without any difficulties and add the necessary payment functions to the backend (I also screwed Bitcoin for one). I was in high spirits about the solution that was found so convenient and prepared to fill out a registration form for a new BrainTree commercial client, when suddenly, unexpectedly stumbled in the news about a message about ... the beginning of a long happy friendship with BrainTree PayPal. PayPal bought BrainTree. All my hopes of getting rid of the monopoly collapsed at one point (dull smile). Having not long burned, I sat down to fill out a form ...

    Bureaucracy BrainTree

    The main mistake, which I will immediately mention, so that others do not repeat it in the future: it made sense to fill out the form immediately after the first tests. Because the registration procedure, contrary to my expectation, stretched out for three weeks and took some time and effort to scan and send copies of paper documents (yes yes, you were not mistaken, dear reader, they ask you to scan the bank statement and also the extract from register on registration of companies, while you can confirm your account by a simple call to the bank and company data is freely available on the registry website). In general, having discussed in the correspondence the feasibility of these actions as well as the reliability of forwarding copies of personal documents, I received a link to the final contract and safely (after three weeks) signed it, thanks to the robots, with an electronic signature.

    About SSL Certificate

    An important detail is the SSL certificate. We must pay tribute, BrainTree approached the encryption problem elegantly. They have their own solution in the form of a JS library for asynchronously encrypting requests. Those. technically, it is possible to send card data with high reliability even without SSL. Nevertheless, this industry has its own standards, and users themselves feel calmer when they see the familiar “lock” in the corner. Therefore, without SSL, however, can not do.

    I first decided to use the NameCheap offer (5 Euro for a simple SSL certificate from Comodo), deciding that a free certificate from the same StartSSLwill not be accepted by any browsers. In the process of testing, it turned out that, ironically, a simple StartSSL certificate works almost everywhere without a hitch (perhaps only not on older versions of IE), while the "pontoon" commercial Comodo was weak in the relatively recent version of Safari on the iPad. In general, I have not yet begun to change the certificate, but for the future I think to change it to a banal StartSSL.

    Instead of conclusions

    As a result, we have some not so significant, but noticeable increase in customers. Some disappointment in the "universe" regarding the hegemony of hegemony (another dull smile). And the enthusiasm for the opening prospects in the use of cryptocurrencies and new blockchain services.

    And a separate appeal to specialists who are thinking of investing in “payments”: if you, colleagues, are thinking of creating some kind of open payment system alternative PayPal in the calculation, say, of the European market of small and individual businesses, start this project safely. Obviously, the field is not plowed and there are no special competitors comparable in terms of ease of integration and accessibility with the same Stripe.

    If you, dear reader, have any amount in BTC or in some other popular cryptocurrency, do not hesitate. Use it, if possible, as a calculation tool. Do not be greedy, spend your savings. Only in this way can you help launch this new mechanism for civilization in all its power. And if you are a businessman, offer your services or goods in exchange for cryptocurrency, offer discounts to crypto clients. Make it attractive to those who are still not sure or are waiting for growth and with the expectation that someone else will start using cryptocurrency for regular payments earlier. You can take part in the formation of the market right now, by the very fact of a full exchange for your own “living” goods or services.

    Well and yes, come to Prague!

    PS. If you, dear reader, have any clarifying questions, do not be shy, ask! I will be happy to answer in the comments.

    List of links and resources mentioned in the article - the guys are working on creating a framework for designing distributed systems using the blockchain mechanism for creating “smart contracts”, which implies any algorithmized built-in transaction logic in the protocol ( White Paper ) - decentralized distributed p2p network-service for data management and storage using the blockchain mechanism at the protocol level (under development). - description of the API for organizing the reception of Bitcoin payments.
    StartSSL- a service providing SSL certificates, incl. free (Class 1 X.509 SSL). - in fact, our wonderful Prague service for renting city GPS audio guides, if anyone has not seen :)

    As well as some links to resources not mentioned in the context, but having independent value within the framework of the topic - a catalog of electronic payment services with descriptions, ratings of business users and comments. - a directory of businesses and services that accept Bitcoin as payment (with search by sections and geographical location).

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