Not long ago we reported that Steam is no longer accepting Bitcoin. Unfortunately, many others are following a similar trend, with the latest to go: Stripe.
Stripe is a popular payment processor and began supporting Bitcoin in 2014. Companies such as Target, Lyft, Digital Ocean, and many others support Stripe. The company announced the end of bitcoin support this past week in an official blog post. They also posted a tweet with the announcement:
Stripe made a statement in the blog about cryptocurrencies and their initial support for Bitcoin:
At Stripe, we've long been excited about the possibilities of cryptocurrencies and the experimentation and innovation that's come with them. In 2014, we became the first major payments company to support Bitcoin payments.
They continue on to describe the ideal cryptocurrency scenario, which was their hope: a decentralized currency that could be used universally, and with low fees across the board. Stripe believes that Bitcoin has become "better-suited to being an asset than being a means of exchange."
The company does say that they will be watching the cryptocurrency ecosystem and will add support for cryptocurrencies in the future when it makes sense. Fortunately, Stripe wants the phase-out to be smooth, which is why they aren't shutting down support for three months. This will ensure a "smooth transition" as the Stripe blog post says.
The issue with Bitcoin (and the primary reason that Stripe is pulling support) is that it has excruciating processing times. This causes issues because when you want to buy something using the currency because the value of Bitcoin will have changed by the time your original payment is being processed. On top of this, the fees are far higher than they are intended to be, making it difficult to justify.
We may see Stripe integrate support for Bitcoin again in the future, once the currency becomes less volatile. The upcoming Lightning Network may also enable realistic processing times and fees, which could potentially encourage re-adoption and universal support.