Yesterday payment processor Stripe announced stoppage of support for Bitcoin as a payment method. All transactions will be fully ended on April 23, 2018.
Stripe is an Irish technology company that allows both private individuals and businesses to accept payments over the Internet. Powering businesses in 25 countries, the company focuses on providing fraud prevention, and banking infrastructure required by on-line payment systems to operate. Stripe’s service is considered to be one of the best ways to accept payments online and in mobile apps.
Bitcoin transactions were first handled by Stripe in 2015, a year after testing the technology for the first time. Residents from more than 60 different countries could make payments on Stripe’s network using Bitcoin. At the time, Stripe’s CEO and co-founder Patrick Collison said:
“We acknowledge that bitcoin is important today … it may or may not be important in five years.“
Now there are certain problems with BTC, which are hard to deny. Firstly, entering a transfer into the blockchain may take hours. Secondly, transaction failure rate is increasing. Moreover, fees have also increased as the value of BTC has risen. All these drawbacks lead to erosion of Bitcoin’s popularity among Stripe’s merchants and users.
“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,“ wrote Tom Karlo, Stripe’s product manager.
Tom Karlo pointed out in a blog post that the decision to end support for Bitcoin payments did not mean giving up on cryptocurrencies all together:
“We remain very optimistic about cryptocurrencies overall. There are a lot of efforts that we view as promising and that we can certainly imagine enabling support for in the future.”
“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,“ he added.
A huge surge of interest in the digital currency over the past year was driven largely by its rapid increase in price. But that demand has also led to huge fluctuations in price. According to Stripe, this volatility meant the time needed to complete a sale had risen. “By the time the transaction is confirmed, fluctuations in Bitcoin price mean that it’s for the ‘wrong’ amount,” said Mr. Karlo.
“Starting today, we are winding down support for Bitcoin payments. Over the next three months we will work with affected Stripe users to ensure a smooth transition before we stop processing Bitcoin transactions on April 23, 2018,” he added.