American payment processor Stripe has announced today that they are cancelling Bitcoin support after many years of providing payment services for it. At the same time they stated that they are not negative on cryptocurrencies, and praised OmiseGO and Ethereum specifically.
CANCELLENING BITCOIN SUPPORTDespite being one of the first major payments companies to support Bitcoin payments, Stripe is joining the increasingly large amount of companies that are withdrawing their support from Bitcoin due to the high fees that exist on the network. Stripe notes that over time as fees increased, less and less revenue was paid in Bitcoin and few use-cases seem to exist for which accepting or paying with Bitcoin still makes sense.
CRYPTO OPTIMISMDespite cancelling Bitcoin support Stripe still remains positive and optimistic about cryptocurrencies in general. They mention several cryptocurrencies by name specifically which are contenders for adoption by Stripe. OmiseGO is referenced as ambitious and clever, as well as the Ethereum platform is is being built on. Stellar is another option, which has received seed funding from Stripe. There may also be possibilities for Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash or other Bitcoin variants if they gain significant popularity and adoption while keeping the transaction fees and times low enough.
Bitcoin's Lightning Network is also closely kept an eye on by Stripe, as they recognize that it may solve the problems plagueing Bitcoin and perhaps one day make Bitcoin usable by Stripe again.
TERRIBLE FOR ADOPTIONStripe being one of the major American payments companies, this is obviously a bad development for Bitcoin mainstream adoption as it takes away many payment options on the web for US citizens. On the other hand, apparently nobody was using it for payments anyway due to the high fees. It seems Bitcoin is, today at least, truly only a 'store of value'.
I'm not sure anybody really minds therefore, as most people seem more interested in Bitcoin as a speculative store of value nowadays. Still, with scaling solutions being implemented as we speak, it is sad to (again) see a major corporation withdraw support just before it gets here completely.
It remains to be seen of Lightning Network can be the scalability savior that we (I) hope that it is. I personally see a lot of possibilities for Stripe especially to act as a Lightning Network hub, but the technology is probably still months away from being 100% absolute bug-free and ready for adoption by a large corporation such as Stripe. They will not take any risks with experimental builds.
Still, one would think that after withdrawing support from Bitcoin there would be much hesitation in the future by Stripe to re-assert support for Bitcoin. I imagine Bitcoin will have to prove itself all over again, by then. I am not sure if this hurts Bitcoin more than it hurts Stripe - Bitcoin adoption could very well continue on it's own hype-train whilst Stripe gets left standing on the sidelines.