Bitcoin had its up and downs in late 2017 to January 2018. Companies are starting to notice this, and payment processors are definitely taking action. Stripe – a large Payment Processor company – stated that “There are fewer and fewer use cases for which accepting or paying with Bitcoin makes sense.” This is especially true for small transactions as the average transaction fee for transacting with bitcoin may reach $26 or higher today.
Stripe is no longer supporting cryptocurrencies today. However, it was not always like this for the payments company. Stripe was very open to cryptocurrencies, and adopting bitcoin was always on their mind.
Tom Karlo – Stripe project manager – expressed the company’s sentiments on the cryptocurrency in a blog post:
“Our hope was that Bitcoin could become a universal, decentralized substrate for online transactions and help our customers enable buyers in places that had less credit card penetration or use cases where credit card fees were prohibitive. Over the past year or two, as block size limits have been reached, Bitcoin has evolved to become better-suited to being an asset than being a means of exchange.”
Bitcoin’s volatility and slow transaction time were also pointed out by Karlo. When a bitcoin transaction is finally confirmed, the dollar value on the bitcoin was likely to have changed by quite an amount already. This then defeats the purpose of Bitcoin’s existence – decentralize transactions and make do without centralized financial entities. At this point, a bank wire may just be as good at doing the job.
Before the crypto hype, back in 2014, Stripe had already acknowledged the potential of Bitcoin as a way to store and send currency. It simply addressed something that hasn’t changed over the past 20 years.
In other news, Microsoft had withdrawn support for Bitcoin. Stripe seems to have followed in their footsteps. It may be possible or support to return, however, since these companies are merely eyeing unresolved issues with the cryptocurrency. Stripe seems to be a developing an interest in the Lightning Network which makes transactions close to instant. Adopting the technology are Stellar, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Ethereum, and OmiseGo. It's important to note that Stripe provided seed funding for Stellar in 2014. In the blog post, Karlo says that Stripe may add support for Stellar if usage grows. Stellar currently has the 6th highest market cap at $11 billion.
Tom Karlo ended with a statement:
“We will continue to pay close attention to the ecosystem and to look for opportunities to help our customers by adding support for cryptocurrencies and new distributed protocols in the future.”