Crypto adoption doesn’t just happen on its own. Developing a payment infrastructure that has value for users requires a significant investment of time and effort. That’s why we’re supporters of BTCPay Server, a self-hosted, open-source payment processor that makes it easy for merchants to offer Bitcoin and crypto purchasing options.
BTCPay Server aligns with our vision for a responsible financial ecosystem, and is a recent recipient of OKCoin’s developer grant program. This grant enables us to contribute to open source development and support decentralization within the crypto industry. In the latest OK Let’s Chat, Alex chats with Pavlenex and Britt Kelly — two members of the BTCPay Server team — to hear their perspective on Bitcoin development.
You can listen to our entire conversation above. Below are highlights from the podcast:
Is Bitcoin for everyone or anyone?
As crypto markets and interest in digital currencies grow, many projects are noticing pressure to focus on mainstream crypto features. The most common examples revolve around regulated tokens, KYC/AML requirements, or implementing centralized features. BTCPay Server is not only opposed to implementing these features, it believes pursuing a mainstream audience will harm its prospects.
“It’s always tough because we of course want as many new users as possible,” Britt admits. “But there’s always this struggle of, you know, is the setup process too complicated? Or is the configuration process manageable for first-time Bitcoin users? At some point, we can’t expect every first-time Bitcoin user to deploy a server … there’s always going to be some users that will slip through the cracks.”
“I mean, is Bitcoin for everybody?” Pavlenex adds. “We [the crypto industry] try to force Bitcoin on people. We try to [say] everybody needs Bitcoin. Everybody needs to pay with Bitcoin. Everybody needs to accept it. And I heard this quote … ‘Bitcoin is not for everybody, it’s for anybody.’ And that’s the whole point of Bitcoin, in my opinion.”
Making the right product for the right audience
Instead of expanding to account for every possible user, BTCPay Server has a focused goal: to create the best possible experience for existing users. To that end, Pavlenex and Britt work to create a system that smoothly and quickly facilitates payments between merchants and consumers but otherwise leaves them free to control and manage tokens as they choose.
“A lot of the consideration [is] how can we make these tools easier for merchants to use instead of ‘how can we spend time planning to make it easy for anyone to use?’” Britt says. “Things are changing so rapidly that at some point we really have to focus on the people who are using the software. The current users who are working with BTCPay and not pull our hair trying to …. maximize every potential use case.”
The drawback of serving a specialized user is that development can take longer than other crypto projects. Ultimately, however, Pavlenex believes it brings value to BTCPay Servers by letting them listen to merchant needs and create a robust payment experience.
“We should grow organically, slowly, and not sacrifice user experience,” he says. “Not sacrifice privacy [or] security by chasing mass adoption and users. In my opinion, that’s not the best action that you can do. You need to go slowly.”
The future of BTCPay Server
Given the long-term nature of BTCPay’s current development, Pavlenex and Britt are giving a great deal of thought to where Bitcoin will go next. “Personally, I think that people will begin to get paid in Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies more so … than just purchasing them and holding onto them,” Britt says. “Projects like BTCPay Server are going to be a pivotal tool for people to be able to get paid in Bitcoin and accept payments — even from a non-work-related transaction.”
Moving forward, a big part of BTCPay’s development revolves around its integration with PayJoin to securely anonymize Bitcoin transactions. This feature lets merchants consolidate UTXOs and batch payments to limit cascading fees. While PayJoin’s integration requires refinement, BTCPay sees enough potential to prioritize it moving forward.
“The developers in BTCPay are working super hard on making PayJoin easy to use and clear to understand,” Brit explains. “But as a merchant or user of BTC pay, it should not be hard to understand to the point where they don’t want to use it.”
We want to thank Pavlenex and Britt for taking the time to speak with us! Be sure to subscribe on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts.
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