Four years after Stripe began accepting bitcoin, the payments platform has decided to end support for the popular cryptocurrency. The company said bitcoin’s volatility and lengthy transaction times led to its decision, TechCrunch reported.
The policy will not take effect immediately, as the company plans to end support for bitcoin on April 23. Stripe had started accepting bitcoin in 2014, when the cryptocurrency first reached $1,000 and truly gained traction. Since then, the value of bitcoin has skyrocketed, reaching nearly $20,000 in 2017.
In reality, bitcoin has become more of an asset than a currency, according to Stripe’s Tom Karlo. The cryptocurrency is simply not made to resolve transactions in seconds or minutes. Karlo also noted that the platform has seen a sizeable decrease in the number of bitcoin transactions.
Payment processors face challenges with bitcoin as it can take hours for bitcoin transfers to enter the blockchain. By then, the value of bitcoin oftentimes has changed dramatically. In addition, fees have risen as the value of bitcoin has increased, hindering commerce and trading.
The announcement comes a few months after Square said it would get into the bitcoin business by reportedly letting some of its customers purchase the cryptocurrency.
According to news from Bloomberg, Square is allowing Square Cash mobile app users to make bitcoin purchases. In a statement, Square said it was exploring how the company can make the mobile app faster and easier to use by rolling out the ability to purchase bitcoin to a small number of its Square Cash customers.
Bitcoin has also gained some traction with online retailer eBay, which, following in the footsteps of Overstock.com, had considered adding bitcoin as payment method on its site. Overstock has been accepting bitcoin for some time now, which has been a boon to its stock price.
But it hasn’t been smooth sailing for Overstock: Earlier this month, a security firm discovered that Overstock.com had erroneously accepted Bitcoin Cash instead of bitcoin as payment for a product — a costly mistake.