Stripe is scrapping its support of bitcoin payments but says it remains "very optimistic about cryptocurrencies"

Rebecca Smith
Bitcoin Continues To See Unprecedented Growth
The firm said there were fewer use cases when accepting or paying with bitcoin made sense (Source: Getty)

Stripe has said it will no longer be supporting bitcoin payments by April, noting a decline in customers using it as a method of payment.

The payment platform said it will gradually wind up support with the end date being 23 April.

In a blog post, Stripe said it had "long been excited about the possibilities of cryptocurrencies", adding that it had been the first major payments firm to support bitcoin payments in 2014.

Read more: Sigh of relief: Bitcoin is finally rising

However, it said 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". As a result, bitcoin has become "less useful for payments".

Stripe said:

Our hope was that bitcoin could become a universal, decentralised 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.

The firm said fees had risen a great deal too - for a regular bitcoin transaction, a fee of $10 was common, which Stripe said made transactions "about as expensive as bank wires". Longer transaction times due to price fluctuations proved an additional headache.

Bitcoin has attracted growing interest over the past year, with its price taking off. That has though, also come with large swings, and Stripe said that had impacted transaction times.

The company said it was seeing fewer and fewer use cases for which accepting or paying with bitcoin made sense.

Despite this, Stripe's product manager Tom Karlo said the company remains "very optimistic about cryptocurrencies overall".

"We’re interested in what’s happening with Lightning and other proposals to enable faster payments. OmiseGO is an ambitious and clever proposal; more broadly, Ethereum continues to spawn many high-potential projects," he said.

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