Stripe first enabled bitcoin transactions in 2015, a move that came a year after first testing the technology. At the time, residents from more than 60 different countries could pay merchants on Stripe’s network using bitcoin, but on Tuesday Stripe announced that it will end support for bitcoin as a payment method in April.
Product manager Tom Karlo wrote in a blog post that Stripe would transition away from bitcoin over the next three months, fully ending support for the largest cryptocurrency on April 23, 2018. He cited lengthy transaction times, an increasing transaction failure rate, and growing fees as reasons why bitcoin is becoming less popular among Stripe’s merchants and users.
“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.”
Some industry commentators have stated that this move might be less to do with Bitcoins failing and more to do with the strong association Stripe have with Stellar Lumens.
— Justin Wu – Blockchain Growth (@hackapreneur) January 23, 2018
While Stripe will no longer accept bitcoin payments, Stripe remains “very optimistic about cryptocurrencies overall,” Karlo wrote, saying he believes support for other coins may be implemented at a future date.
In the Stripe post, Karlo left the door open to enabling payments in other cryptocurrencies, namely stellar lumens, the currency of the Stellar network.
— Larry Sukernik (@lsukernik) January 3, 2018
“We may add support for Stellar (to which we provided seed funding) if substantive use continues to grow,”
Of course there is some irony in the timing of this move, which comes just when Bitcoin fees are dropping rapidly and Lighting Network could ensure that payments become almost instant and free.
Stripe ramping down Bitcoin support just as Lightning becomes usable is the product strategy equivalent of selling the dip. https://t.co/O7MiiTz09H
— Stephen ⚡️ (@sthenc) January 23, 2018