Stripe Stops Bitcoin Payment Support
Stripe, the firm which helps more than 100,000 businesses do financial transactions online, has announced that it is officially winding down its Bitcoin integration. Valued at $9 billion, Stripe is a major payments service provider in 25 countries, and the company claims to process billions of dollars in transactions each year. Stripe will be transition away from bitcoin over the next three months, fully ending support for the largest cryptocurrency on April 23, 2018.
Stripe started Bitcoin payments to all vendors who use the platform back in 2015. In a blog post, Stripe explained about their hopes on Bitcoin earlier when they started using currency in its platform:
“Our hope was that Bitcoin could become a universal, decentralized substrate for online transactions and help our customers enable buyers in places that had less credit card penetration or use cases where credit card fees were prohibitive.”
Main reason for abandonment of Bitcoin is its high transaction fees. Rising fees and longer transaction times as a result of price fluctuations also lessened its appeal, Stripe said.
“This has led to Bitcoin becoming less useful for payments, however. Transaction confirmation times have risen substantially; this, in turn, has led to an increase in the failure rate of transactions denominated in fiat currencies. (By the time the transaction is confirmed, fluctuations in Bitcoin price mean that it’s for the “wrong” amount.) Furthermore, fees have risen a great deal. For a regular Bitcoin transaction, a fee of tens of U.S. dollars is common, making Bitcoin transactions about as expensive as bank wires.”
Bitcoin becoming an 'Asset'
Stripe believes Bitcoin is emerging as a asset now rather than currency for easy transactions :
“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. Given the overall success that the Bitcoin community has achieved, it’s hard to quibble with the decisions that have been made along the way. (And we’re certainly happy to see any novel, ambitious project do so well.)”
Giving Chance To 'Alt Coins'
Stripe still believe in giving chance to other cryptocurrencies. They stated in blog post:
“We’re interested in what’s happening with Lightning and other proposals to enable faster payments. OmiseGO is an ambitious and clever proposal; more broadly, Ethereum continues to spawn many high-potential projects. We may add support for Stellar (to which we provided seed funding) if substantive use continues to grow. It’s possible that Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, or another Bitcoin variant, will find a way to achieve significant popularity while keeping settlement times and transaction fees very low. Bitcoin itself may become viable for payments again in the future. And, of course, there’ll be more ideas and technologies in the years ahead.”
Though, the company has no plans to integrate any of those supposedly “better” currencies into its platform.
Stripe has left itself open to reconsider Bitcoin as a payment method in the future:
“We’re interested in what’s happening with Lightning and other proposals to enable faster payments...Bitcoin itself may become viable for payments again in the future.”