Stripe, which begun accepting bitcoin payments almost four years ago during the height of a push for a people’s currency, has today announced they will no longer accept it. So joining Steam and others, in what is becoming a fashionable reverse adoption trend.
“Our hope was that Bitcoin could become a universal, decentralized 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,” Stripe says before further adding:
“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…
This has led to Bitcoin becoming less useful for payments… 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.”
As an internet company, you’d think Stripe has the fortitude and ability to understand there are now two bitcoins, an expensive and slow Bitcoin Core, and a fast and cheap Bitcoin Cash. They do hint at it:
“We remain very optimistic about cryptocurrencies overall,” Stripe says before further adding that there are considerable efforts in the crypto space to make digital currencies competitive with traditional financial services. So citing OmiseGo, Ethereum, Lightning too, and Stellar, before conluding:
“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.”
Litecoin has the exact same unscalable roadmap as Bitcoin Core, so no luck there, but Bitcoin Cash follows Nakamoto’s suggestion to scale on-chain without care how big nodes get because Moore’s Law will ensure technology keeps up, if for nothing else then the demands of this global payment network.
Afterall, if the internet can handle unimaginable amounts of data and remain decentralized, so can a global financial network, that can also act like a Library of Alexandria, recording historical facts, among many other things.
“We will continue to pay close attention to the ecosystem and to look for opportunities to help our customers by adding support for cryptocurrencies and new distributed protocols in the future,” Stripe concludes. But as an internet company, they really should know better than anyone else how open source and forks work.
There was no reason for them to engage in a sort of virtual signaling reverse adoption trend of sorts. They could have just added other digital currencies, like Bitcoin Cash or Ethereum, which meet the demands of their customers.
Not least because when they begun accepting bitcoin in 2014, its market cap was a fraction of the current market cap BCH or ETH enjoys.
Yes, there was a set-back, we get it, but all that is now over. The field has grown immensely in the meantime. Moreover, merchants now have the choice of continuing supporting the bitcoin they supported in 2014 in Bitcoin Cash, or other crypto.
So this trend of me too, as if bitcoin is the only game in town, when it has barely just above 30% market share, while other cryptos have 10x and even 100x the market cap bitcoin had when they first begun accepting it, does begin to feel like a cheap copt out.
As if we owe them anything. As if they are doing us a favor in their corporate boards. When it is more probable some marketing kid told them they could get some cheap publicity by not bothering at all to look at solutions and instead virtual signaling.
Especially when it comes to an internet company, like Stripe. As if they have been in a cave for the past four years and just woke up from a coma, still thinking there is only a Bitcoin Core with a market cap of less than a billion dollars.