Additionally, another major blow was just dealt to Bitcoin as payments processor heavyweight Stripe stops supporting Bitcoin…
Some bad news to all those hoping that Bitcoin can still become a viable currency.
Major payments processor Stripe has decided to stop allowing transactions in Bitcoin.
We’ll let Stripe speak for themselves as to why (red bold added for emphasis):
In 2014, we became the first major payments company to support Bitcoin payments.
Note that they dedicated four years of support and have decided now, after all that development and all that energy spent, to pull the plug.
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.
Note that one of the original arguments for Bitcoin is thrown out the window: It is not currency.
This has led to Bitcoin becoming less useful for payments, however. Transaction confirmation times have risen substantially; this, in turn, has led to an increase in the failure rate of transactions denominated in fiat currencies. (By the time the transaction is confirmed, fluctuations in Bitcoin price mean that it’s for the “wrong” amount.) Furthermore, fees have risen a great deal. For a regular Bitcoin transaction, a fee of tens of U.S. dollars is common, making Bitcoin transactions about as expensive as bank wires.
Bitcoin is very expensive to use. Sure, with something like gold and silver coins, there are costs involved as well, but the cost is substantially less to transact with actual money.
Note too the volatility aspect. By the time a person pays, after the Bitcoin transaction was verified and turned into dollars, especially with the crash over the last month, the person could owe more money to the merchant, which means an additional transaction fee, and another possible failure or wrong amount being payed again. It’s possible a person spends many times what the item cost to begin with by the time fees and converting BTC into fiat takes place.
Because of this, we’ve seen the desire from our customers to accept Bitcoin decrease. And of the businesses that are accepting Bitcoin on Stripe, we’ve seen their revenues from Bitcoin decline substantially. Empirically, there are fewer and fewer use cases for which accepting or paying with Bitcoin makes sense.
Therefore, starting today, we are winding down support for Bitcoin payments.
Despite this, we remain very optimistic about cryptocurrencies overall.
They have set the final date as April 23, 2018 to totally stop processing payments with Bitcoin.
But notice the kicker in the last line that says “we remain optimistic about cryptocurrencies overall”.
They are not optimistic about Bitcoin, just cryptocurrencies.
Can that be stated differently?
How about: We don’t see Bitcoin as having any real purpose.
And since Bitcoin is no longer a currency, what is it?
Let’s see: With the Perth Mint developing a gold-backed cryptocurrency, sooner or later everybody who bought Bitcoin thinking they bought “digital gold” will realize that there is actually such a thing as digital gold.
So if Bitcoin is not digital gold, what is it?
OK. Sure. Fine.
I’m not going to argue with anyone there.
I take enough heat for my fundamental and technical analysis as it is, so I wouldn’t want people thinking I have something against Bitcoin.
So yes: Bitcoin is math.
As for the price of the ice cream sandwich?
Tune in to the funny video below to find out (Disclaimer: It’s funny by assuming a dark sense of humor).
The short video was made by The WSJ showing what was once every Bitcoin fan’s wildest dream but is now just a pipe dream: Buying actual things with Bitcoin.
HODL at your own risk.
– Half Dollar