# Who can use BTCPay Server?
The versatility and flexibility of BTCPay Server attract different types of users. Anyone can use BTCPay Server.
We're ensuring an open future for businesses and individuals regardless of geographic, political or financial barriers.
Below are the most common use cases for BTCPay Server:
- Merchants who sell products and services online or in person
- Self-sovereign individuals wanting to protect their wealth and manage their funds and full bitcoin node
- Charities and non-profits looking to accept donations or crowdfund their dream project
- Developers building on top of bitcoin and bleeding-edge payment infrastructure
- Members of local communities willing to onboard people to their BTCPay instance and offer payment processing as a service or for free, creating a circular economy.
- Exchanges offering instant conversions for the users of BTCPay Server
- Hosting providers offering BTCPay as a cloud service or ready-to-use hardware.
The software usage is by no means limited to the groups of users mentioned in this document.
Merchants accepting bitcoin payments online or in person are the primary user group of a BTCPay Server.
By choosing BTCPay Server to process payments, merchants are:
- Saving money (BTCPay is free with no fees or subscriptions)
- Cutting out the middle-man (If self-hosted payments go directly to their wallet)
- Enhancing privacy for their customers (no address re-use, no information leaks to the third party servers if they're self-hosting BTCPay Server)
- Saving time (easy integration with popular e-commerce platforms)
- Protecting themselves from interference in their business (self-sovereignty)
# Online stores
Merchants selling goods or services over the internet, usually pick an online e-commerce plugin we offer for multiple popular e-commerce platforms WooCommerce, Shopify, PrestaShop, Magento Drupal, Shopaware (opens new window) or other. Install a plugin for the CMS of your choice, and connect it to a self-hosted BTCPay or one hosted by a third party.
BTCPay Server's checkout is no different from any other payment gateway. The customer gets an invoice. They pay it by scanning a QR code or by copy-pasting the amount and the bitcoin address. When their payment is confirmed, you're notified via the e-commerce software and can ship the item.
# Physical stores
For in-person retailers, BTCPay Server has a web-based Point of Sale. Similar to the online store, the customer is presented with an invoice that he can pay on the spot. The POS app can be run on any web-connected device.
Take a look at our demo POS app (opens new window).
# Self-sovereign individuals
Privacy-minded individuals can use BTCPay Server's internal wallet for their everyday bitcoin transactions without providing a private key. For self-hosted servers, the internal wallet relies on a full node, significantly enhancing privacy. Hardware wallet integration allows the usage of a hardware wallet with a full node (opens new window) and avoids leaks to a third-party server.
# Freelancers & bill pay
Freelancers can request for payment by sharing a Payment Request. The content and appearance of the payment request are customizable. With or without expiry, customers can pay the request at any time. BTCPay Server automatically updates the exchange rate when the customer pays the payment request when it's convenient for them. Merchants or freelancers can use payment requests for bill pay services. Payment requests can even be used to quickly request money from friends.
Merchants can provide payment by sharing a Pull Payment. This is a long-lived payment offer that the freelancer can pull funds from at their convenience. The merchant can specify the total amount and approve a partial or full request for payment.
# Charities & non-profits
Charities, non-profits, content creators, and other organizations that want to accept bitcoin donations in a more private way than the traditional static bitcoin address method can utilize the Pay Button, POS app or Crowdfunding app for a better user experience.
Benefits of using BTCPay for accepting donations:
- Saving money (no fees, no subscriptions)
- Cutting out the middle-man (Payments go directly to their wallet)
- Enhancing privacy for them and their donors (no address re-use, no IP leaks to third parties)
It's essential to mention that BTCPay Server prevents address reuse, as many people have been reusing addresses for donations in the past. Here is why you SHOULD NOT reuse a Bitcoin address:
- Privacy: reusing the same address for donations not only makes it incredibly easy to link it to your identity, but it also compromises the privacy of your donors and every person that interacts with you
- Security: by compromising your privacy, address reuse increases your attack surface, as people that want to steal from you or harm you would have A LOT of information about you and your donors
- High fees: fees for a Bitcoin transaction are calculated according to the "size" of a transaction (which has nothing to do with the amount being sent). By reusing addresses, you are building huge transactions involving many inputs, that will cost you a lot in fees when you want to move them
You can read more about address reuse on the Bitcoin Wiki (opens new window).
By deploying an instance, developers get a full tech stack to develop on top of Bitcoin. They can build things using the Greenfield API (opens new window) or build free or premium plugins for BTCPay users. Since BTCPay is an open-source organization, they can also get involved and contribute and help us improve the software.
# Local communities
People self-hosting a BTCPay Server instance, can enable registration for other users and become a third-party host for family, friends or their local community allowing them to accept Bitcoin by piggybacking on the host's instance. This allows motivated community members to onboard local communities and fuel hyperbitcoinization locally.
# Cryptocurrency exchanges
The number of merchants (opens new window) using BTCPay Server grows each day, and cryptocurrency exchanges could benefit from it by developing integrations with BTCPay and allow offer instant conversion of payments into local fiat currencies.
# Hosting providers
Hosting providers can (and some already have) create easy 1-click BTCPay deployment solutions for their customers. With the growing interest in BTCPay Server, hosting companies can tap into this source of new customers and make money by hosting easily-deployable BTCPay instances for merchants.
These are some of the many ways in which you can use BTCPay. Unleash your creativity and feel free to build your own solutions to solve problems.