Stripe will no longer accept Bitcoin as a payment method

Stripe no longer accepts Bitcoin
Photo: Artmagination, Bigstock

Stripe has confirmed that Bitcoin will no longer be accepted as a payment method. Stripe’s officials announced that they will no longer be able to support payments in cryptocurrency.

The reason behind this decision is the constant drop in actual Bitcoin payments. Stripe claims that their customers are simply not interested in using Bitcoin as one of the payment methods.

The company will slowly reduce their support and officially stop supporting Bitcoin in April. This comes shortly after the price of Bitcoin fell significantly, after the unforgettable  success in 2017.  

Stripe ensured its customers that the transition period will be slow and that they will have time to transfer to another payment method.

Over the last 12 months, Bitcoin has significantly risen, reaching its peak of over astonishing 25,000 AUD in December 2017. However, this increase was followed by increased transaction fees, longer processing times and a decrease in Bitcoin payments, which eventually lead global companies, like Stripe, to start distancing their businesses from the coins.

Stripe was one of the Bitcoin’s earliest supporters

Back in 2014, Stripe was one of the first major online platforms to support cryptocurrency purchases. The company introduced a private program to its merchants, which made their Bitcoin payments much easier. Before Stripe’s integration, merchants were only able to accept Bitcoins when integrating with third-party software, such as Bitpay.

Throughout the years, Stripe was open to the possibility that Bitcoin may or may not become the currency of the future. CEO, Patrick Collison said that the company’s main goal was to increase e-commerce transaction.  

However, at the time, he could not guarantee that cryptocurrency will increase online transactions, explaining that in five years period, Bitcoin might not even be important.

Well, almost 5 years later, it does seem that Bitcoin has no value to Stripe merchants, as it became less useful payment method. What was once considered to be the future of the online commerce, now seems like an expensive privilege.

Bitcoin is simply not used in e-commerce world as often as expected, mostly due to its price fluctuations and high processing fees. In addition, after reaching it’s unbelievably high value, it seems as people are only looking at cryptocurrencies as an investment, and not as a payment method.

Bitcoin has become an unreliable payment method

In the official notice, Stripe explained that the global success of the Bitcoin made it more into an asset than an everyday exchange currency. This led to certain limits, which made Bitcoin payments less reliable.

The main problem lays in transaction confirmation time. As Stripe officials revealed, Bitcoin confirmation time is now much higher, and often leads to higher failure rates.

The longer it takes a transaction to be confirmed, the higher are the chances that Bitcoin’s value fluctuations will affect the end amount. To put it simply, you may end up with the “wrong” total amount paid, due to Bitcoin’s price changes.

In addition, paying with Bitcoin will actually cost you more. With the rise of Bitcoin, fees have risen as well, and a regular Bitcoin transaction now involves a fee of tens of dollars. This makes cryptocurrency payment almost expensive as bank wires and has led to the decrease in Bitcoin transactions.

When it comes to everyday transactions and online shopping, Stripe’s customers are simply not acceptive of the high fees and often price changes. Their reports also showed that the revenue of the businesses who accept Bitcoin has declined along with the overall Bitcoin usage.

The company still stays optimistic about cryptocurrencies

Although Stripe will definitely end Bitcoin transactions on 23rd of April, the company still has an optimistic attitude about the future of cryptocurrency. Even though Bitcoin has drastically lost value, other cryptocurrencies seem very promising.

Stripe’s officials particularly expressed their interest in Lightning, Ethereum, and Stellar, explaining that there might be a chance for future support.

Furthermore, the company also emphasised that Bitcoin may be back on board in the future and that supporting Bitcoin variants is also a possibility if they manage to keep low transaction times and fees, while reaching global popularity.