The reasoning for retiring Bitcoin from its systems was that merchants operating in its platform did not wish to accept payments done in the digital currency as well as increasing transaction fees as well as waiting times for the payments to be processed. It also blamed the double-digit rate of price fluctuations everyday. The company also feels that Bitcoin has now largely become an “asset” to be traded rather than a form of currency to make payments with.
Stripe was one of the first payments companies to accept Bitcoin on its platform way back in 2014. Its customers include big names including Lyft, Grab, Target and Deliveroo, who pay a fee to Stripe each time a payment is processed through the company’s platform.
During the launch of the Bitcoin payment method in 2014, Stripe believed that Bitcoin would become a way for people to conduct transactions without worrying about high transaction costs or card fees and details.
But the current volatility in Bitcoin means that companies are having a hard time processing Bitcoin transactions. According to Tom Karlo, Stripe’s product manager, fluctuations in Bitcoin pricing as well as the long time taken for the confirmation of Bitcoin transactions meant that incorrect amounts were being processed a the end. The costs associated with Bitcoin have almost made it as expensive as wire transfers.
He also said that these reasons have forced merchants operating on the platform to stop accepting Bitcoin payments and thus the currency has seen revenues declining exponentially on the platform. This has made it hard for the company to continue supporting the payment method on its platform. He stated:
“By the time the transaction is confirmed, fluctuations in Bitcoin price mean that it’s for the ‘wrong’ amount. For a regular Bitcoin transaction, a fee of tens of US dollars is common, making Bitcoin transactions about as expensive as bank wires”.
The company is winding down Bitcoin operations at the present, with total deprecation by 23rd April 2018. Even though it is ending support for Bitcoin, the company reiterated that it is not giving up on cryptocurrencies. Karlo explained that their company is keeping a close watch on the market and spoke about Lightning and other cryptocurrencies which aim to allow for faster payments. He also spoke highly of Ethereum, calling it a catalyst to other high-profile projects spanning various niches.