Digital payment company Stripe has announced general support for bitcoin, opening up the cryptocurrency to thousands of merchants around the world.

Stripe is used by many major firms in a variety of ways, including Kickstarter, Shopify, Facebook, Twitter and Reddit.

In order to begin accepting bitcoin payments, merchants using Stripe Checkout first need to update their checkout platform.

"Anyone can sign up to accept bitcoin - there's no waiting period," a spokesperson for Stripe told IBTimes UK. "If you're already a Stripe Checkout user, adding bitcoin is just one line of code.

"Bitcoin transactions will appear side-by-side with fiat currencies in the Stripe dashboard, making it simple to manage, and transactions will have clear public pricing (0.5% per transaction)."

Stripe was the first major payment company to announce support for bitcoin, launching a beta testing period in March 2014.

In the year that has passed since, bitcoin payments have been made from more than 60 countries, across North America, South America, Europe, Africa and Asia.

While people anywhere around the world can pay with bitcoin, only merchants with a US dollar bank account can actually accept bitcoin payments.

"We want to enable merchants to add new payment instruments as easily as possible, and are really happy we've been able to provide bitcoin support to Stripe Checkout users with just one extra line of code," said Stripe cofounder John Collison.

Stripe's bitcoin integration follows news that Dell has rolled out bitcoin acceptance for its customers in the UK and Canada, making it the largest firm to accept bitcoin payments internationally.

The news seems to have had a positive affect on the price of bitcoin, with the world's most valuable cryptocurrency rising $10 over the last 24 hours to take a single coin's value to $245.