Getting Started with BTCPay Server – Free and Open Source Bitcoin and Lightning Network payment processor

This post is a sequel to my earlier Merchant's Guide and the Ultimate Guide to BTCPay. Since then, the software has matured, it's more feature-rich, light-weight and easier to install with plenty of documentation and video tutorials available.

What is BTCPay Server?

BTCPay Server is a free and open-source cryptocurrency payment processor which allows you to receive payments in Bitcoin (on-chain and via the Lightning Network) and supported altcoins, directly to your wallet without fees, transaction cost or a middleman via your own full node.

Think of it as a non-custodial invoicing system which eliminates the third-party. The private keys are never uploaded to the server. There is no address re-use since each invoice generates a new address deriving from your xpubkey. That means increased privacy, security, and censorship-resistance. It's a tool for self-sovereign businesses, organizations or even individuals.

Who can use BTCPay?

  • Merchants with an online or a physical store (connect your store to your BTCPay with one of many integrations or use a Point of Sale app)
  • Charities, organizations or content creators (receive donations via POS app or payment button)
  • Users who want to deploy Lightning Network node easily
  • Users who want to become payment processors for their friends or local community
  • Exchanges which want to integrate with BTCPay and allow merchants to receive fiat payments
  • Hosting providers which want to offer 1-click deployment to customers
  • Developers who want to help and learn

Why a business should run a full node?

Read this article

BTCPay vs other payment processors

The most significant advantage of BTCPay over other processors is that it is entirely free and open-source, non-custodial software, created by the community. While most of the other processors hold your Bitcoins, BTCPay allows you to receive payments P2P, directly to your software or hardware wallet.

BTCPay is a self-hosted software. This means that you are your own payment processor. There are no subscriptions, no transaction fees. There's no third-party involvement which significantly increases the censorship-resistance, privacy, and security for you and your customers. Furthermore, BTCPay enables you to become a processor, which means you can charge for registration of your local merchants, or provide a free service to help spread the adoption.

How to deploy BTCPay Server?

The easiest way is to use a web-wizard deployment and launch your BTCPay, Full Bitcoin and LND node in under a minute. Please visit this page for more deployment methods.

How much does it cost to run BTCPay Server?

BTCPay is a 100% free software. You can run it as a self-hosted solution on your local server, or use a hosting provider, which is what a majority of users do. Additionally, you can use a third-party BTCPay host and attach your store to it.

If you choose to host it externally, the price depends on the hosting provider. Be sure to choose a VPS which meets the minimal requirements.

The low-priced VPS servers tested by the community start at around 8.8$ /month.

E-commerce Integrations

Is there a list of merchants using BTCPay?

BTCPay is decentralized, non-custodial service, so we don't really have a way of keeping a track on the number of users. However, some community members try to keep a list of BTCPay stores.

I don't have a store, how can I create one?

Follow this step by step guide and build your first online store from scratch.

BTCPay Demo?

How can I contribute to BTCPay?

The easiest way is to use the software for your business, provide feedback and report any bugs or issues you or your customers encounter.

Translating BTCPay, helping us with documentation are also ways in which you can help, even if you're not a developer or tech-savvy.

We need more VPS hosting providers to implement 1-Click BTCPay deployment and make BTCPay widely-available.

We are actively looking for developers who can take on and resolve GitHub issues and help with development.

We appreciate each and every contributor to the project and support we get from the community here.

Have a question about BTCPay Server? Feel free to ask in the comments.

How best to proceed from here and keep up with the project??

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Bitcoin – The Currency of the Internet

Update from CheapAir – now using BTCPay!

(This email was received out a few moments ago)

Update on Our Search for a New Bitcoin Payment ProcessorDear Traveler,

A couple of months ago, I wrote to you about some challenges we were facing finding a replacement for our processor Coinbase, who had informed us they would be shutting down their merchant platform. Since 2013, we had relied on Coinbase to facilitate our acceptance of Bitcoin, and we were in unfamiliar territory to be suddenly scrambling for an alternative.

I cannot tell you how grateful I am for the overwhelming amount of thoughtful feedback we received. We went into the process thinking we were on a desperate quest to find a new processor. But thanks to many of you, we came out of it realizing we don’t need a processor at all.

For about a month now, we have been testing an open source Bitcoin payment processor, BTCPayServer, which, admittedly, I had never heard of before several of you suggested I take a look at it. Although there was a slight learning curve at first, and some engineering work to create the flow to turn crypto from you into dollars for airlines and hotels, we are thrilled with the end result. Not only does BTCPayServer enable us to circumvent BitPay’s controversial BIP-70 wallet requirement, but, after the Coinbase situation, we find it really liberating to no longer be dependent on a third party. We now have much more control of the process, which has made possible faster, more efficient order processing. We can also do a much better job of gracefully handling the occasional anomalies that are still inherent in crypto commerce. Many, many thanks to Nicolas Dorier, Predrag T, and the other BTCPayServer contributors; you’ve built a truly great product.

We know we’re not the only retailer affected by the Coinbase action that had to find new solutions or make a difficult decision. We believe that accepting digital currency has been a win-win for both CheapAir and our customers. So we decided to double down without reservation.

Besides moving to BTCPayServer, we have also set up a dedicated support team just for crypto customers, so if you need help you can reach someone who is familiar with and understands how crypto works:

Escalated, dedicated email support:BTCSupport@cheapair.com

Priority Crypto Phone Number: 1-800-619-6999

We have also begun accepting Bitcoin Cash, Dash, and Litecoin. (We use GoCoin for that and they’ve been great).

Thanks again for your continued support of CheapAir.com. As always, we welcome your feedback. We’ll continue to do everything we can to make it easy to book travel with digital currency. Please continue to let us know how we’re doing!

Jeff Klee Founder and CEO

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Bitcoin – The Currency of the Internet

PSA: New merchants please avoid bitpay, they don’t support bitcoin address’s which results in fewer BTC payments/clients. Alternatives: btcpay, coingate, globee (with btc + lightning support)

Its all, have a nice day🤗

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Bitcoin – The Currency of the Internet