In January this year, the leading digital payments company, Stripe announced that they would no longer accept Bitcoin. Stripe has been supporting bitcoin payments since 2014, allowing merchants to accept transactions in this digital currency. However, this April, the company discontinued the service. Stripe’s Claire Hughes Johnson spoke at the Fortune Brainstorm TECH 2018 explaining why the company gave up on Bitcoin.
In Johnson’s words, one of the primary reasons behind Stripe’s decision to stop supporting Bitcoin was the fact that business merchants “didn’t demand Bitcoin.” As she explained further in the interview, Bitcoin distanced from its primary use over the years. Johnson pointed out that Bitcoin has transformed from a cryptocurrency into a store of a value, which had a tremendous influence on the currency’s demand.
Stripe’s Chief Operating Officer, Johnson also said that the company is optimistic about cryptocurrencies in general. “Maybe there are some cryptocurrencies that will behave more like currencies, and get acceptance around the world, and we’ll be watching,” Johnson said. “But as it stands today, it didn’t make sense,” she added.
Before Stripe stopped supporting Bitcoin, the company also noticed that the times needed for a Bitcoin transaction to clear were increasing. In some cases, these transactions would take a couple of days, and because of Bitcoin’s volatility, prices would swiftly change which would result in making an additional transaction.
However, there are many supporters of Bitcoin that are not planning to give up on the cryptocurrency. IBM is one of the companies that see the purpose of Bitcoin in the real world. The company recently joined the startup company Stronghold to explore the opportunities that come with a “crypto dollar,” i.e., stablecoin.
Furthermore, Asheesh Birla, senior vice president of Product at Ripple, is a strong supporter of cryptocurrencies. “If you’re going to expand into a new country today, you’re going to use blockchain for that expansion,” said Birla.
When it comes to online gambling, Bitcoin is now supported by many bitcoin poker and dice sites. The fact that some companies will stop supporting Bitcoin is inevitable, but the cryptocurrency is here to stay.