ChronoPay, one of Russia’s oldest online payments providers, is including bitcoin to its payment gateway, enabling all of its clients to accept the world’s most popular cryptocurrency.
“I have publicly criticized bitcoin in the past,” stated ChronoPay founder and chief executive Pavel Vrublevsky, in a phone call with CCN today. The former bitcoin skeptic, a controversial figure, has since changed his opinion on bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. “I apologize to everyone – I’ve changed my point of view radically,” he wrote in a public post today, after having “thoroughly studied the subject.”
Established in 2003, ChronoPay is among Russia’s earliest online payment companies. The Moscow-based company is plugged into international payment platforms like VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Maestro and other regional payment systems. Bitcoin will now be among them.
“It’s already enabled,” Vrublevsky tells CCN when asked when the company plans begin supporting bitcoin payments on its gateway.To facilitate payments with the cryptocurrency, Vrublevsky reveals that his company will also provide bitcoin wallets for merchants. A representative for the company revealed that tens of thousands of merchants, “from tiny t-shirt online shops to national industry leaders” are among its clientele.
In particular, two of Russia’s four largest mobile operators are ChronoPay clients, including MTS and Tele2 – the former which is the country’s biggest mobile operator with some 70 million users (2012 figures).