The mobile payment processing company Stripe has announced it will be winding up its support for Bitcoin transactions, with officials citing slow processing and high transaction fees as stumbling blocks.
Stripe’s support for Bitcoin transactions will last for the next three months, wrapping up officially on April 23, 2018. It brings to an end a four-year support period from the company, which made waves back in 2014 when it decided to support Bitcoin payments for its customer base.
Writing on Stripe’s official blog, Tom Karlo - Product Manager for Payment Methods & Dashboard –said: “Transaction confirmation times have risen substantially; this, in turn, has led to 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.) Furthermore, fees have risen a great deal. For a regular Bitcoin transaction, a fee of tens of U.S. dollars is common, making Bitcoin transactions about as expensive as bank wires.
Because of this, we’ve seen the desire from our customers to accept Bitcoin decrease. And of the businesses that are accepting Bitcoin on Stripe, we’ve seen their revenues from Bitcoin decline substantially. Empirically, there are fewer and fewer use cases for which accepting or paying with Bitcoin makes sense.”
The company’s official statement went on to say that they were open to re-enabling support for Bitcoin in the future, should the transaction process speed up. The big revelation was Stripe suggesting they may begin to support Stellar Lumens, another cryptocurrency.
Stellar Lumens shares the same blockchain technology as Bitcoin but the advantage is that Stellar is faster, with users able to quickly exchange government-backed currencies, just like converting Pounds into Dollars. Tech giants IBM are currently utilising Stellar’s network in partnership with the consulting firm Deloitte, as they look to develop cross-border payment systems.
The boost to Stellar could lead to a boost for Ripple, another major crypto. Both currencies were founded by Jed McCaleb, and Ripple also boasts quick cross-border payments, so much so that Santander and American Express are utilising this system between the UK and the US.