Namecheap, a Los Angeles-based domain registrar and web hosting company with close to a million customers and 3 million registered domains, has begun accepting the Bitcoin cryptocurrency as a payment for its services. It is the first major domain registrar to offer a Bitcoin as a payment option.
How it works
Bitcoin can be spent to purchase domains, web hosting, SSL certificates or WhoisGuard services on Namecheap.
Namecheap allows its account users to directly top up their accounts with Bitcoin without ever leaving the Namecheap website. Users first need to log in to their accounts and then add funds via accessing their Bitpay website.
The Bitpay website will then direct the Namecheap users through the process of loading their account with Bitcoin.
Namecheap has set a minimum amount of $0.01 and a maximum amount of $10,000 of Bitcoin that can be added to each Namecheap account, which is notably more flexible than the minimum of $5 normally set for other payment methods such as PayPal, Google CheckOut, Visa, Mastercard, and American Express.
Those looking to further increase their limit should contact the Namecheap Helpdesk for a case-to-case consideration.
Namecheap reminds its users that they can buy domain name with Bitcoin now. Payment system works similar to Google Checkout in that the funds should first be deposited to their accounts before these can be spent for domain registration and other services.
Users should also take into consideration some delay before funds are credited to their accounts. The usual processing time is within one hour, "but in rare cases it may take up to 24 hours," the company said in response to a support query.
As with all payment methods, each addition of Bitcoin funds to a Namecheap account will be recorded in the Funds History log which can be accessed for reference and record-keeping purposes.
Adding funds tutorial
Namecheap users who require detailed instructions on how to add funds can watch this step-by-step tutorial video:
The process shown in the video showing how to add funds using PayPal works very similarly for Bitcoin.
Growing demand for Bitcoin
Namecheap said that due to requests from its more tech-oriented audience, who are more likely to be engaged in the trading of Bitcoin, it was convinced to accept Bitcoin as a payment option.
"Namecheap is a customer-focused domain name registrar and web host. For months, Bitcoin has been requested of Namecheap among the tech audience. We're pleased to announce that we've listened to your feedback," the company said.
Another reason that could have pushed Namecheap to adopt Bitcoin is that it is in line with its strong position on online issues. The company has donated $100,000 to support online freedom in the face of the SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) bill filed before the United States Senate. With Bitcoin, the company probably views its emergence as an alternative to real world currencies as positive for the increasingly wired global community.