WordPress.com, which hosts close to 58 million blogs across the world, announced last night that it will now accept payments for upgrades via Bitcoin, the peer-to-peer digital currency. The blog hosting platform says its mission is to “make publishing democratic,” and because PayPal and other payment companies block access in a fair amount of countries, the company has decided to accept Bitcoin, enabling users without access to PayPal to still purchase WordPress upgrades.
According to the blog post:
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.
WordPress has made paying with Bitcoins extremely easy, creating a Bitcoin section on the checkout screen that shows the price of your purchase in Bitcoins as well as an address to a wallet unique to that purchase.
By accepting Bitcoin, WordPress is helping to legitimize the notion of open source digital transactions, a move that Reddit is also considering. Bitcoin has long been sequestered in a darker corner of the Internet, painted as the favorite currency for hackers and black market drug dealers. With more and more sites adding a Bitcoin payment option, along with the creation of the Bitcoin Foundation, the currency is making strides towards being accepted by the mainstream.
Writes WordPress: “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%.”