Wednesday, 23 January, 2019

Payment Processor Stripe to End Support for Bitcoin Transactions

Payment Processor Stripe to End Support for Bitcoin Transactions Payment Processor Stripe to End Support for Bitcoin Transactions
Nellie Chapman | 24 January, 2018, 11:10

At the time, the company saw potential in Bitcoin to become a "universal, decentralized substrate for online transactions" that could enable people in developing markets to make purchases without credit cards or other standard payment methods.

On Tuesday, however, product manager Tom Karlo announced that the company will be winding down support for bitcoin payments.

Stripe today said it would stop supporting bitcoin transactions on 23 April. He explained that the amount of time it takes for transactions to be confirmed has risen significantly, which also has caused a rising failure rate for transactions which are actually denominated in fiat currencies. "For a regular Bitcoin transaction, a fee of tens of U.S. dollars is common, making Bitcoin transactions about as expensive as bank wires". "Empirically, there are fewer and fewer use cases for which accepting or paying with bitcoin makes sense", said Stripe. Today, Stripe reiterated its support for a viable digital currency, but said that bitcoin just isn't cutting it. "And of the businesses that are accepting bitcoin on Stripe, we've seen their revenues from bitcoin decline substantially".

In short, bitcoin's price fluctuates so often that one side of a transaction inevitably gets screwed.

Despite the fact that Stripe is dropping support for bitcoin, the company is still extremely bullish on cryptocurrencies in general.

While the explosive growth of bitcoin - with prices shooting as high as $15,000 earlier this month, before sinking down around $11,000 at the time of writing - drove mass interest in the cryptocurrency as an asset for investment, it also brought to the surface concerns about its use for everyday payments on a large scale. Bitcoin's core developers have stuck to the old ways, holdout supporters are lobbying for integration of the Lightning Network that should speed things up, and opportunists have created spinoffs with faster transaction times.

Stripe first enabled bitcoin transactions in 2015. "We will continue to pay close attention to the ecosystem and to look for opportunities to help our customers by adding support for cryptocurrencies and new distributed protocols in the future", it said.

"Over the past year or two, as block size limits have been reached, Bitcoin has evolved to become better-suited to being an asset than being a means of exchange". Launched in 2014, Stellar is a non-profit blockchain system focused on money transfers via text message.

The online video game storefront Valve stopped accepting bitcoins in December, and Microsoft briefly disabled bitcoin payments around the same time.