Stripe is giving up on bitcoin as a payment method


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.

In a blog post, Stripe said it had "long been excited about the possibilities of cryptocurrencies", adding that it had been the first major payments firm to support bitcoin payments in 2014. At the time, Stripe CEO and co-founder Patrick Collison very aptly said, "We acknowledge that bitcoin is important today ... it may or may not be important in five years". 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. He said that for "regular" bitcoin transactions, it's common for fees to be in "the tens of USA dollars", which makes transactions completed via bitcoin "about as expensive as bank wires". Stripe said that customers aren't using bitcoin as a method of payment as often anymore.

Stripe said it would start winding down its support for Bitcoin immediately and would stop all transactions by 23 April.

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Because of this, we've seen the desire from our customers to accept Bitcoin decrease. Additionally, those that have been taking bitcoin on Stripe have watched their bitcoin revenues tumble "substantially".

In short, bitcoin's price fluctuates so often that one side of a transaction inevitably gets screwed. Longer transaction times due to price fluctuations had also proved an additional headache. This has led to infighting in the bitcoin community over whether or not to expand the software's limits on block size.

Stripe first enabled bitcoin transactions in 2015.

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However, he said that now bitcoin is more suited as an asset than as a means to process transactions. In a line that will be sure to inflame bitcoiner conspiracy theorists on Reddit, Stripe said it "may add support for Stellar (to which we provided seed funding) if substantive use continues to grow". Bitcoin itself may become viable for payments again in the future.

Market watchers will recall these as much the same reasons why game marketplace Steam also pulled its support for Bitcoin back in December previous year.

Despite dropping bitcoin as a payment option, Stripe remains "very optimistic about cryptocurrencies overall". Bitcoin functions as some sort of "store of value", or proof of concept for the blockchain, but it ain't a currency.

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