The popular blogging platform is many people’s first introductions to content management systems. Over the years, it has managed to keep up with the times, and even with the advent of competitor platforms like Ghost, it has maintained its dominance in the space. Accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment was one more way to maintain the bleeding edge. According to the company itself, the reason for doing so had more to do with the regional restrictions that credit card processors have. From the announcement at the time:
PayPal alone blocks access from over 60 countries, and many credit card companies have similar restrictions. Some are blocked for political reasons, some because of higher fraud rates, and some for other financial reasons. Whatever the reason, we don’t think an individual blogger from Haiti, Ethiopia, or Kenya should have diminished access to the blogosphere because of payment issues they can’t control. Our goal is to enable people, not block them.
However, as of writing, WordPress is no longer taking Bitcoin. The support page that formerly explained how Bitcoin works now redirects to a page that tells the user about the various legacy payment forms they accept, leading to an inquisitive article in CoinDesk.
CCN.com did our due diligence and reached out to Automattic, the company that owns WordPress. We were fortunate enough to get a reaction directly from Matt Mullenweg, the storied co-creator of the platform.
We’re still big believers in Bitcoin, but we’re doing some major refactoring and streamlining of our checkout process right now and Bitcoin is lower in priority since it’s relatively low volume compared to our more traditional transaction options.
We will definitely keep in mind adding Bitcoin support back in the future.
After all, many of those who have adopted Bitcoin as one of their primary payment modes are very tech savvy people who’d have no need of the hosted solutions that WordPress.com offers. While WordPress powers possibly hundreds of Bitcoin-related websites (including this one), the actual software used is open source. So, no payment remittance to the owners would be necessary unless the websites were hosted by Automattic itself.
It is important, in situations like this one, to keep in mind that Bitcoin (and cryptocurrencies in general) is still a nascent technology that has an arduous road ahead of it before it even enters the everyday parlance of the consumer. In many ways, Bitcoin is a brand, and as far as brands go, it has a lot of counterweight in the negative category vis-a-vis the Silk Road, near-monthly monumental fraud reports, and serious market instability.
Speculators and profiteers don’t care anymore about the future of Bitcoin than they do about the future of Wal-Mart – their sole motive is to profit, either for themselves or their clients. This being the case if we truly want to see more adoption of Bitcoin and wider acceptance, we, ourselves, might have to make a conscious effort to use it in more of our day-to-day transactions. Practice what we preach, so to speak.
But then, Bitcoin will weather the storm no matter who accepts or does not accept it. As long as there is no centralized agency determining its supply, and any Joe is free to acquire it, Bitcoin will hold value. “How often do you spend a piece of gold?” some might ask rhetorically. Well, if it were as easy as spending Bitcoin, probably a lot more often!