Stripe says it remains optimistic about the future of cryptocurrency. Digital currencies hold the promise of handling transactions quickly, securely and inexpensively, making them a technology that likely will transform mobile payments dramatically in the coming years.
Anyway, Stripe, which is one of the biggest payment platforms (if not the biggest since last year it was ranked number one on the Forbes Cloud 100 list) has announced that it will no longer be accepting Bitcoin payments effect from the 23rd of April this year.
"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", wroteTom Karlo, Stripe's product manager.
As Bitcoin has gained success, transaction confirmation times have risen substantially, which in turn has led to an increase in transation failure rates, as by the time the transaction is confirmed, fluctuations in Bitcoin prices mean that it's for the "wrong" amount. The median bitcoin transaction fee soared to a high of $34 in late December and remained above $10 until the last few days, according tobitinfocharts.
Collison brothers' Stripe calls time on volatile bitcoin, which has become more of an asset than a fluid currency.
He said: "Because of this, we've seen the desire from our customers to accept bitcoin decrease". 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 became extremely expensive in 2017 in terms of both its value and how much it costs to use. And of the businesses that are accepting Bitcoin on Stripe, we've seen their revenues from Bitcoin decline substantially. In the meantime, Stripe has grown into a major force with a $US9.2 billion ($11.5 billion) valuation, and bitcoin seems more important than ever. "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".
Stripe was eager to point out that its decision to no longer support bitcoin doesn't mean it has given up on all cryptocurrencies. With growing volume of transactions and a limited block size, the balance between transaction fees and transaction settlement times became skewed, particularly for micro-payments, which have become largely unfeasible.
Stripe's Tom Karlo said in a statement that the delay between blocks has seen payments sometime fail, while fees can now be as much as worldwide bank transfers.
However, the company went on to talk about other cryptocurrencies and the possibility of adding support for them in the future, provided they have sufficient volume and demand.
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