Online payments firm Stripe ends support for bitcoin

Online payments firm Stripe ends support for bitcoin

So on Tuesday, Stripe argued that it was ending support for bitcoin. Payments take longer to process among the cryptocurrency mining industry that earns bitcoins for providing the computing power to unlock new coins while updating the digital ledgers of transactions.

The company - which operates in 25 countries, including Australia - said it would "stop processing Bitcoin transactions on April 23" this year.

Payment processing company Stripe announced this week that it will no longer accept Bitcoin as a payment method on its platform, citing the currency's volatility, slow transaction times and ever-increasing processing fees.

As Stripe's Tom Karlo points out, the truth is that BTC has evolved to become an asset rather than a currency, and is simply unsuitable for transactions that need to resolve in seconds or minutes at the outside. By the time transactions are completed, he added, the price of the volatile cryptocurrency had often changed.

Stripe indicated that customers as well as businesses have lost interest in bitcoin payments, with fewer and fewer use cases seen for accepting or paying with bitcoin.

In addition to providing a payments platform for big clients such as Lyft, Facebook and Target, Stripe has been supportive of cryptocurrencies for several years. The company was among the first to adopt Bitcoin back in 2014, and now, it is one of the first to drop it altogether. "For a regular Bitcoin transaction, a fee of tens of U.S. dollars is common, making Bitcoin transactions about as expensive as bank wires". "Transaction confirmation times have risen substantially", Karlo explained.

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"By the time the transaction is confirmed, fluctuations in bitcoin price mean that it's for the "wrong" amount", the payment processor said.

Because of this, we've seen the desire from our customers to accept Bitcoin decrease.

Gaming company Steam stopped accepting bitcoin payments for similar reasons in December.

Instead, their vision for bitcoin's future is for most transactions to shift to off-chain payment technologies like Lightning, freeing up capacity for high-value payments on the bitcoin blockchain itself. "There are a lot of efforts that we view as promising and that we can certainly imagine enabling support for in the future".

But it seems to me that Stripe is merely being realistic and embracing the ideals of decentralized currency that bitcoin has advanced, though which it failed to attain.

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