Irish online payment processor Stripe announced Tuesday it will discontinue accepting bitcoin payments as of April 23, 2018. The company cites block size capacity, slow transaction confirmation times and high fees as the reasons behind the change. Stripe became the first major processor to accept bitcoin back in 2014.
Company product manager Tom Karlo goes on to mention that the company will continue to keep a close eye on emerging coins and platforms that may make doing business on blockchains viable again. He specifically mentions Bitcoin’s Lightning Network, Ethereum, and OmiseGO as promising projects.
Late last year, Bloomberg revealed that of the top 500 companies in the world, only three were accepting bitcoin as payment.
Issues with scaling, transaction times and fees don’t just affect retail businesses. Altcoins are also backing off of the bitcoin network. Storj, a blockchain-based cloud storage coin, announced last spring that they would be moving to the Ethereum blockchain. The value of their token went up 400% shortly after migrating.
It’s becoming more and more clear that if Bitcoin wants to keep the top spot as the world’s most valuable cryptocurrency, something’s got to give. The fact is it’s no longer regarded as an easy way to pay for things. It has been more digital gold than digital cash for a long time now.
The fear of increased government regulation and the proliferation of pyramid schemes are certainly to blame for the recent plummeting of cryptocurrency valuations. That said, until proper scaling and interoperability solutions are put in place, bitcoin and its companions may eventually end up collecting dust in your digital coin collection.
That’s an opinion shared by many in the space, including Bitcoin Jesus himself, early adopter and influencer Roger Ver. Ver backs Bitcoin Cash as the future king of crypto. He believes it’s a much cheaper and faster alternative to Bitcoin and that businesses will be much more likely to adopt it as the go-to payment option.
Whether or not Ver is right remains to be seen. What is for sure though is that the competition will continue to gain on Bitcoin as projects like Cardano, Tezos and other so-called “blockchain 3.0” coins continue to develop.
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