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Major payment company: "Fewer and fewer use cases" for bitcoin payments

25 January 2018

Stripe says it remains optimistic about the future of cryptocurrency.

Instead, their vision for bitcoin's future is for most transactions to shift to off-chain payment technologies like Lightning, freeing up capacity for high-value payments on the bitcoin blockchain itself.

Stripe, the company which helps over 100,000 businesses successfully perform online financial transactions, is to round off its almost four-year support for Bitcoin payments.

"Our hope was that Bitcoin could become a universal, decentralised substrate for online transactions and help our customers enable buyers in palces that had less credit card penetration or use cases where credit card fees were prohibitive", said Tom Karlo, product manager at Stripe, in the announcement that the firm would be ending support.

This isn't a death knell for bitcoin, but it is a bad sign for the digital currency's viability in payments.

"By the time the transaction is confirmed, fluctuations in bitcoin price mean that it's for the "wrong" amount", he said.

Stripe is one of the most popular ways for small online organizations to accept credit card payments.

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Because of this, we've seen the desire from our customers to accept Bitcoin decrease.

Thiel said as much in his Reddit "Ask Me Anything" session in 2014, when he pointed out that bitcoin may be a new currency, but it's lacking as a payment mechanism.

Stripe said it will still remain open about Bitcoin: we will still keen monitoring what's happening. In the meantime, Stripe has grown into a major force with a $US9.2 billion ($11.5 billion) valuation, and bitcoin seems more important than ever.

This has led to Bitcoin becoming less useful for payments, however. "Given the overall success that the bitcoin community has achieved, it's hard to quibble with the decisions that have been made along the way", he added. And in October, Vietnam banned cryptocurrency payments, with the State Bank of Vietnam declaring that Bitcoin was not a legal payment method from the start of this year.

However, it said its decision to end support for Bitcoin payments did not mean it was giving up on cryptocurrencies all together, and sees "OmiseGO an ambitious and clever proposal; more broadly, Ethereum continues to spawn many high-potential projects".

Interestingly, the post also included a note that it may add support for Stellar Lumens to its platform if its usage continues to increase.

Major payment company: