UPDATE: 5/15/18: Because ShapeShift does not send payments using Payment Protocol, it is not currently possible to pay a BitPay merchant using this method. Learn more.

Our friends at ShapeShift.io operate one of the most popular online exchanges for alternative blockchain assets. ShapeShift allows users to trade in digital currencies like DASH, Ether, and Namecoin, but it also makes it easy to turn those coins back into bitcoin.

In this post we'll show you how you can pay a BitPay invoice by exchanging one of these currencies for bitcoin at ShapeShift.io.

The following four steps explain how you can do this. The screenshots are taken from a shopper that exchanges Dogecoin for the bitcoin needed to pay a BitPay invoice, but you can use any other digital currency type supported by ShapeShift. The full process takes a couple of minutes.

Step 1: Set up your trade at ShapeShift.io

Choose which coins to trade for bitcoin and select 'Precise.' Note that you don’t need to create an account at ShapeShift to get started.

Step 2: Generate a BitPay invoice

Select the bitcoin payment option on the merchant website to generate a BitPay invoice. In this case, we're making a donation to BitGive.

The BitPay invoice shows you the bitcoin (BTC) amount and bitcoin receiving address.

Step 3: Fill in the requested ShapeShift information

Copy the bitcoin amount and bitcoin receiving address from the BitPay invoice and paste them into the ShapeShift exchange form. Fill in your Dogecoin refund address in case something goes wrong (e.g. if insufficient funds are sent for the trade).

ShapeShift now indicates that it is waiting for the Dogecoin deposit.

Step 4: Send the requested amount

Copy the Doge amount and Doge deposit address listed on the ShapeShift trade form and paste them into your Dogecoin wallet. Now you can send the requested amount of Dogecoin to ShapeShift. Remember that some digital currency exchanges deduct fees for outgoing transactions, so we recommend using a native Dogecoin wallet to ensure that your full amount arrives to ShapeShift without issue.

The following now happens automatically.

ShapeShift displays that the proper amount of Dogecoin has been received. ShapeShift then sends the requested amount of bitcoin to BitPay’s invoice address.

BitPay will update your invoice upon receiving the bitcoin. Now you can enjoy the goods or services you just bought!

That's it. To get started, just visit ShapeShift's website and check out all of your options for paying bitcoin-accepting merchants using alternative digital currencies.