What are Bitcoins?

Bitcoin uses peer-to-peer technology to operate with no central authority or banks; managing transactions and the issuing of bitcoins is carried out collectively by the network.
Bitcoin is open-source; its design is public, nobody owns or controls Bitcoin and everyone can take part. Through many of its unique properties, Bitcoin allows exciting uses that could not be covered by any previous payment system.

    Adafruit + BitPay = Bitcoin Payment

    Adafruit is pleased to offer BitCoin as a payment method for Adafruit purchases. We’re using BitPay as our payment processor. BitPay is an electronic payment processing system for the bitcoin currency. BitPay enables online merchants to accept bitcoins, as a form of payment like payments from Visa, Mastercard, Amex, Google Wallet and Paypal.

    Here's how BitPay helps Adafruit accept Bitcoin Payment:

    1. Customer places an order in the Adafruit store, just like any other payment method.
    2. We are able to offer BitPay as an option for more international locations than any of the other payment methods we have available.
    3. BitPay creates a Bitcoin invoice and locks in an exchange rate agreement for any payments that are initiated within the 15min minutes that the invoice is valid.
    4. BitPay oversees that process of validating the exchange of btc, and offers customer and vendor support if the wrong amount or no amount reaches the Bitcoin invoice address.
    5. BitPay pays Adafruit in USD after the Bitcoin payment is validated -- so we can receive payment in the currency we use to pay our suppliers, manufacturers, shipping services, and staff!
    Spend your Bitcoins when their value is up, or before the market hits bottom, to get the most electronics-to-crypto value for your payment!

      As Bitcoin can be quite volatile, bitpay may not always have it available depending on the distributed blockchain 'load'!
      Please note : We do not offer all types of payment to every address. Please submit your order to checkout to learn specifically if Bitpay is available to you
      You've already (bought/mined/been given/won a government police auction) an undisclosed quantity of Bitcoin (btc), and have those digital coins secured in your digital wallet.

      The btc value is high today (or might soon plummet!) so you are ready to convert your cryptocurrency into something more stable ... educational electronics kits, parts, and components from Adafruit!

      Here are the stages your order will navigate on its way to you:

      1. STAGE 1: Placing An Order
      2. STAGE 2: Initiating Payment
      3. STAGE 3: Validating Payment
      4. STAGE 4: Shipping!


      Paying by Bitcoin is just as easy as selecting any other payment method in the Adafruit Store.
      • After adding items into your cart, proceed through the the stages of CHECKOUT until you reach STEP 4, selecting a payment method.
      • Select the option "PAY WITH BITCOIN" to see the current BTC to USD exchange rate, as well as USD & btc cost for the order.
      • If the exchange rate is acceptable, choose "PAY WITH BITCOIN." Welcome to the future of ca$h [email protected]! :)


      After checkout, the store will direct you immediately to the BitPay online invoice page for your order. This page includes the Bitcoin address where you can send payment, the terms of the exchange, and a 15-min countdown counter marking the remaining time that the invoice remains valid.
      • As long as you initiate payment for the order within the 15min window, BitPay commits to accepting exchange rate terms listed on the invoice.
      • "What happens if the bottom drops out of the Bitcoin market seconds after I place my order?" For a few more minutes, Bitpay will accept your btc at the invoice exchange rate, no matter what.
      • What happens if you do not initiate payment fast enough -- or you use a wallet service that has additional validation stages and delays on the way over to BitPay? Contact us or contact BitPay and we will investigate.
      At this stage, BitPay sends notice to Adafruit that the payment process has begun, and the dance of the internet coins and validating "coin-counters" begins!


      Above is a snapshot of the information Adafruit receives for your order while we wait for the payment to be validated.
      • The moment you click to start the Bitcoin transfer process, BitPay receives a notice that you have declared to pay.
      • We receive an update after each stage is complete --first that BitPay has created the invoice, next that BitPay has received word that the invoice will be paid, and last that the payment has been validated.
      • It may take time for the transfer and validation within the Bitcoin network to complete so that your transaction can be listed in the public ledger.
      • Payment for a large order can take several hours, so we appreciate your patience -- the rewards of payment validation await your order in a few more minutes ...


      Now that BitPay can confirm that all Bitcoin payment stages are complete, they pass the final payment over to Adafruit. We get paid in USD currency at the exchange rate listed on the invoice, and we can begin the process of activating your order for packing and shipping.

      • Bitcoin orders may take up to 1-2 days to process completely. Once the order has processed we will ship it out.
      • Note that while we offer expedited shipping for Bitcoin purchases, orders are not finalized until Bitcoin payment has cleared through BitPay.
      • Because this payment process can take longer than more traditional payment methods, we encourage you to use other options if you want your package to ship and arrive quickly.

      While paying for cutting edge educational electronics using crypto-currency can take a little getting used to, we have made every effort to make this process painless and easy for you, our (mad genius) customers.

      Should there be any issue with placing and paying for your order, please contact us or contact BitPay Support and let us know how we can help.

      We have also added a number of Bitcoin related details to the Adafruit FAQ here.

      Read on below for a selection of the items from the official FAQ -- make sure to check the FAQ for our latest official FAQ updates.

      Frequently Asked Questions

      What happens if my invoice expires before I initiate payment?
      No problem, just let us know. We watch for expired invoices and may contact you within a few business days if we see no payment activity on the order.
      Can I return an item that I have purchased using Bitcoins?
      All Bitcoin purchases are final. Any items damaged or defective upon arrival can be replaced with 14 days (30 days for international orders), or returned for store credit only. No refunds.
      How long does it take for my order to ship after I place a Bitcoin order?
      Bitcoin orders may take up to 1-2 days to process. Once the order has processed we will ship it out.
      What if I place an expedited order and pay with Bitcoin? When will that ship?
      Orders are not finalized until Bitcoin payment has cleared through Bitpay. Because this payment process can take longer than more traditional payment methods, we encourage you to use other options if you want your package to ship arrive quickly.
      Can I check out as a "guest" using Bitcoin payment?
      Yes, but an Adafruit account is highly recommended so that you can more easily check in on the status of your order and reference past invoices.

      This guide was first published on Jul 09, 2014. It was last updated on Jul 09, 2014.