Having tested the promising Bitcoin technology for almost a year, Stripe decided to add it as a payment option for all its merchants in 2015. In over 60 of the world’s countries, customers could pay in Bitcoin. That era seems to be at an end. Because of increasingly slow and expensive transactions, fewer and fewer merchants are opting into the Bitcoin payment system.
Tom Karlo, Stripe’s Product Manager, announced on the official blog that Stripe will be moving away from the world’s biggest cryptocurrency by April 23rd 2018. They say they’ll remain positive in terms of cryptocurrency support and will keep options about implementing crypto payments open – perhaps even implementing XLM (Stellar Lumens) support – a currency which they invested in as a company years prior.
It would seem like Stripe isn’t the only company suffering due to Bitcoin’s transaction fees and slow confirmation times – Steam, the video game marketplace and social platform, recently announced their own departure from the cryptocurrency payment option, citing volatility in price and unreliable transactions as the primary reasons.
The option was originally implemented for unbanked customers – those without credit cards and PayPal accounts with which to pay for games. Games had essentially been becoming more and more expensive as Bitcoin’s price dropped, while keeping the fees up. Likewise, a rising BTC price would make returns very impractical for Steam, who immediately upon charging customers exchanged the received crypto payments for fiat amounts through the company BitPay.
When last week’s North American Bitcoin Conference also decided to remove Bitcoin as a payment option for attendance fees, BitPay decided to implement some changes. The conference’s organizer and BitPay’s EU director of business development Moe Levin told Bitcoin.com that the company was going to implement Bitcoin Cash into the ticket sale system.
Having felt the loss of big clients like Microsoft, Steam, the Bitcoin Conference and others, they rushed the Bitcoin Cash implementation. Bitcoin Cash is a fork of Bitcoin with bigger blocks and thus lower transaction costs. It’s important to note that BitPay did not remove Bitcoin, they merely added another option – Bitcoin Cash.
While Bitcoin payment processor companies are doing their best to keep their clients around by adding new cryptocurrencies and urging for patience, true scaling and transaction fee reduction options are nowhere in sight.