Why We're Updating the Minimum BitPay Payment Amount to $100

UPDATE, 12/23/17: We continue to monitor bitcoin network conditions, but we have re-enabled BitPay merchant invoices and BitPay card bitcoin-to-dollar loads for $5 or above. BitPay Card orders are also once again available. Learn more.

The Bitcoin network has been seeing record transaction volume in the last few weeks. This growth has also led to record network congestion and record-high bitcoin miner fees.

Bitcoin miner fees are now more than $30 per transaction on average. To protect purchasers and to continue to offer service for Bitcoin payments, we are now requiring a new invoice minimum payment amount of $100 on all BitPay invoices.

This change does not affect person to person payments in the BitPay wallet, only payments to BitPay merchants and bitcoin-to-dollar loads for the BitPay Card.

Why we are raising the BitPay invoice minimum to $100

Bitcoin miner fees are the costs to purchasers for sending Bitcoin transactions. BitPay also pays these costs as an operational cost for sweeping payments received to BitPay invoices.

With current bitcoin network conditions, transactions sent without large miner fees are at high risk of significant payment delays or payment failures. Bitcoin payments under $100 are quickly becoming impractical for users to send and for BitPay to process.

Source: https://bitcoinfees.info/

We will continue to evaluate Bitcoin network conditions. If bitcoin miner fees continue to grow at this accelerated rate, we may increase invoice minimums again in the coming weeks.

What this means for BitPay merchants

If a customer attempts to submit an order smaller than $100 in USD value, the BitPay API will now return an error message to your system preventing invoice creation. No payment will be possible. Your system will receive the following response from BitPay.

{ error: 'Invoice price must be at least $100 USD' }

If your customer needs to pay for an item less than $100, they will need to use an alternative payment method.

If you wish to test payments smaller than $100, please use BitPay's testnet environment and a testnet bitcoin wallet. Learn more about testing with BitPay and the Bitcoin testnet.

What this means for BitPay cardholders

For now, you will be unable to make a bitcoin-to-dollar load with any amount smaller than $100 USD in bitcoin. If you need to load your card, we recommend loading larger amounts in advance of the purchases you will need to make.

If you are a US-based cardholder, you can also continue to make cash loads or direct deposits to your BitPay Card for amounts smaller than $100. International cardholders will continue to have access to other load methods such as Visa® Direct.

This invoice minimum change also means that new BitPay Cards are temporarily unavailable for order. Follow our card status page for updates.

What's going to happen to smaller bitcoin payments?

We are observing Bitcoin network conditions constantly. If network capacity increases or miner fee levels go down, we will evaluate lowering our invoice minimum again.

We are also working quickly to add support for a Bitcoin Cash (BCH) payment option on all BitPay invoices. Bitcoin Cash is a modified fork of Bitcoin which will allow purchasers to send payments with significantly lower bitcoin miner fees. Bitcoin Cash payments will allow us to re-enable payments as small as $1 or smaller.

What can BitPay do about miner fee costs?

BitPay does not control or benefit from bitcoin miner fee levels. But we will continue to improve our platform to protect our users from the effects of large swings in these fees.

We will be working in the coming months to implement Segregated Witness (Segwit) in various parts of our platform. Segregated Witness reduces the size of bitcoin transactions, allowing for an average bitcoin miner fee reduction of over 40%.

Thank you for your patience as we respond to changing Bitcoin network conditions. Our team is working hard to give you access to fast, secure, reliable, and affordable blockchain payments. We look forward to releasing these improvements in the year ahead.

For US Residents:The BitPay Visa® Prepaid Card is issued by Metropolitan Commercial Bank, member FDIC, pursuant to a license from Visa, U.S.A. Inc. “Metropolitan” and “Metropolitan Commercial Bank” are registered trademarks of Metropolitan Commercial Bank © 2014. Use of the Card is subject to the terms and conditions of the applicable Cardholder Agreement and fee schedule, if any.

For Non-US Residents:The BitPay Visa® Prepaid Card is issued by Wave Crest Holdings Limited pursuant to a license from Visa® Europe. Visa® is a registered trademark of Visa Incorporated. Wave Crest Holdings Limited is a licensed electronic money institution by the Financial Services Commission, Gibraltar.

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