At WordPress.com, our mission is making publishing democratic — accessible and easy for anyone, anywhere. And while anyone can start a free blog here, not everyone can access upgrades (like going ad-free or enabling custom design) because of limits on traditional payment networks.
Today, that changes: you can now buy WordPress.com upgrades with bitcoins.
PayPal alone blocks access from over 60 countries, and many credit card companies have similar restrictions. Some are blocked for political reasons, some because of higher fraud rates, and some for other financial reasons. Whatever the reason, we don’t think an individual blogger from Haiti, Ethiopia, or Kenya should have diminished access to the blogosphere because of payment issues they can’t control. Our goal is to enable people, not block them.
Bitcoin is a digital currency that enables instant payments over the internet. Unlike credit cards and PayPal, Bitcoin has no central authority and no way to lock entire countries out of the network. Merchants who accept Bitcoin payments can do business with anyone.
If you’re already using Bitcoin you’ll find this payment method even easier than paying by credit card. Our store’s checkout area has a Bitcoin section that shows the amount due in BTC and the address of a wallet created just for your transaction. As soon as we receive notification of the transaction, your purchase is complete. It typically processes in a few seconds, less time than it takes to fill in a credit card form.
If you’re new to Bitcoin you’ll need to get your hands on some bitcoins (BTC) first, which is currently the hardest part of using Bitcoin. Learn more on getting started with BTC at We Use Coins, and check out the answers to some common questions at the end of this post.
With Bitcoin we join a new digital economy that doesn’t leave anyone behind, essentially making financial transactions open source — something WordPress.com is behind 100%. We’re proud to support bloggers from all over the world by providing a Bitcoin option.
How does Bitcoin work? How do I get started? Where can I get BTC?
We won’t cover these details here. Good documentation already exists at We Use Coins along with links to places where you can get BTC.
How do you handle BTC? Are you participating in the bitcoin network? Mining?
We aren’t mining or handling BTC at all, actually. Our payment processing partner for Bitcoin is BitPay.com. They track the exchange rates, generate the quotes and the wallets, receive your BTC and finally send us USD.
How many times is the transaction confirmed before I get my upgrade?
Zero! We could wait for the first confirmation (typically 5-10 minutes) but we prefer to make the customer experience as smooth as possible. Making you wait for confirmations would virtually eliminate our risk but we’re confident that with digital products like ours the risk is already acceptably low.
Sometimes Bitcoin isn’t an option in your store. What gives?
Affected products include domains and themes when not purchased in bundles, and any purchases made while you have credits already on account. We’re sorry! There are some technical complications. We decided to go now with what we have because, as we said at the beginning, this launch is about enabling people. Bitcoin should be accepted for all purchases within two or three months.
What about refunds?
Bitcoin is famous for its irreversible transactions but we will still honor our refund policy. If a refund is granted on a purchase made with BTC we will work with BitPay to issue a refund in BTC.
As eksith commented, how will this help WP grow, or even sustain it’s current size? BitCoins are sort of a laughing manner and most service provider will quite literally laugh at you if you ask to pay using a fictional currency such as this.
@Egill, that still doesn’t answer how you pay your bills with BTC ;)
Yes you get USDs from them, but BTC payments (provided enough people switch to that) still won’t come close to what you make with conventional dollars, which is what your infastructure accepts. And since the exchange rate fluctuates so much, no company can match your expectations of dollar return from day to day which in turn may lead you to increase the BTC fee for upgrades since you still need to pay your bills.
This is the problem with cryptocurrency: Very secure, but ephemeral.
So, back to my question, how will WP pay its bills?
My point is that BTCs are unstable.
Thank you for doing this, and thank you for not waiting until it was 100% integrated to do it. Not only are you opening access to people who otherwise could not purchase your service, you’re advancing the cause of Liberty in the world by a measurable amount.
WordPress, would you be interested in a plugin that would allow bloggers to accept donations that DIRECTLY paid their membership fees? If so, I’d be happy to donate my development skill for no charge. Please let me know if there’s any way I can help this great cause!
Go wordpress go! Thats cool
Simply the most amazing news. This was a great move to make, WordPress!
Posted to BitcoinTrading!
it might work in the near future here… but right now i found out that the transaction’s kindda dark and confusing. i honestly didn’t trust any bitcoin seller that i contacted today. didn’t seem very reliable to me. :P
but in the other hand, i’m glad wordpress opens up for other payment methods. :) makes things easier for people that live in other countries
Absolutely nothing changes for them. Since they will never see actual bitcoins, the whole thing is totally transparent for them. To answer your question, they will still pay their bills in USD as they do now.
This movement will incite an avalanche of adoption and increased awareness of the only currency that is run by the people for the people. This could end up being considered a watershed day for commerce, finance, economics and ultimately politics.
Thank you WordPress for this bold and brave decision.
In my best Mr. Burns voice, “Ecellent!”
Looks interesting. I’ve never heard of it. However, I prefer to still pay by Paypal. Please tell me you’re not removing that option?
I am so pleased about this.
This makes me feel i want to start using wordpress.
Great news, thank you WP. Yes you are the best.
This is truly awesome and shows that WordPress is cutting edge!
Simply the most amazing news
Oooo, wordpress just got even easier :) this rocks!
Wow, this is great news!
Way to go wordpress, I will be paying my upgrade in bitcoins :)
Bravo! Well Done! And not least for the news-spreading effect this will have.
We who are about to live in a new world salute you!
That’s awesome news! It will be a major milestone in the history of Bitcoin. Just made a german post about this on http://www.bitcoinnews.org/2012/11/wordpress-com-akzeptiert-bitcoin-fur-upgrades-ad-free-und-custom-design/
Wow, congrats on the this good move!
I hope that will have huge impact on BitCoin adoption
Masterly move in the right direction.
Bit coin goes Epic!