Online payments platform Stripe is ending Bitcoin support

Online payments platform Stripe announced that it is ending Bitcoin support as the cryptocurrency has become more of “an asset” and “less of a currency for daily payments.”

The company, which became the first major payments company to support Bitcoin payments, said that it is ending support for bitcoin transactions given the substantial increase in confirmation times and an increase in “the failure rate of transactions denominated in fiat currencies.”

“By the time the transaction is confirmed, fluctuations in Bitcoin price mean that it’s for the “wrong” amount,” explained Stripe product manager Tom Karlo. “For a regular bitcoin transaction, a fee of tens of U.S. dollars is common, making bitcoin transactions about as expensive as bank wires.”

Bitcoin, the first completely decentralized digital payment system, is a cryptocurrency.

Stripe said that ending support for Bitcoin payments will be carried out in a smooth transition for users and will completely stop processing Bitcoin transactions on April 23, 2018.

“Despite this, we remain very optimistic about cryptocurrencies overall. There are a lot of efforts that we view as promising and that we can certainly imagine enabling support for in the future,” Karlo said.

Karlo added that the company may add support for the cryptocurrency Stellar if use of it continues growing, noting that other Bitcoin variants may find ways to achieve popularity if settlement times and fees are low.

“We may add support for Stellar (to which we provided seed funding) if substantive use continues to grow. It’s possible that Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, or another Bitcoin variant, will find a way to achieve significant popularity while keeping settlement times and transaction fees very low. Bitcoin itself may become viable for payments again in the future. And, of course, there’ll be more ideas and technologies in the years ahead.”