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January 24, 2018

Stripe abandons Bitcoin over price instability

Although Stripe has fallen out of love with Bitcoin, the company has said it is still very optimistic about cryptocurrencies.

By Tom Ball

The payment processing specialist, Stripe, has given up on bitcoin because of its price volatility, stating that it makes it less useful for payments.

Because of this volatility Stripe says merchants have been put off from taking and handling the cryptocurrency, while transactions have also become slow and expensive.

Price fluctuations are directly to blame for the lengthening transaction times; with movements happening so frequently that making the final deal becomes a challenge.

Tom Karlo, project manager, Stripe, said:  “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.”

There has previously been a great of conversation regarding Bitcoin drifting away from being a truly decentralised currency, decisive action has been proposed to try and return it to this state, but it was halted.

“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. 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,” Karlo said.

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It is important to note that this move is not a reflection on cryptocurrencies generally, with the volatility of the cryptocurrency being the central reason for this withdrawal of support.

Karlo said: “This has led to Bitcoin becoming less useful for payments… Despite this, we remain very optimistic about cryptocurrencies overall. There are a lot of efforts that we view as promising and that we can certainly imagine enabling support for in the future.”

Stripe will begin slowing its support for Bitcoin immediately and that all transactions involving the cryptocurrency would cease by the 23rd of April.

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