Monday, January 29, 2018

Cryptocurrency app makers are giving up on turning Bitcoin into a payment system and instead are focusing on investment platforms

As the chances of Bitcoin ever reaching that point of critical mass as a true medium of exchange dwindle, app makers in Silicon Valley are now shifting their focus away from payment system platforms to those tied to aiding the cryptocurrency as a speculative investment.

Graphic courtesy of
When Bitcoin first captivated the minds of tech executives back in 2013, it was mainly seen as a new way to make fast, cheap payments online. Roughly five years later, the number of big brands accepting Bitcoin is falling, not growing. 
Having said that, interest in Bitcoin hit an all-time high in December, according to Google Trends. Instead of making payments, people are now interested in trading or hodling Bitcoin and other cryptoassets. 
Recently, it’s become clear that the popular bitcoin apps are going to be the ones that focus on speculating on cryptoassets rather than making payments with cryptocurrencies — at least for the foreseeable future. 
Stripe, Steam and Microsoft all announced their abandonment of bitcoin recently due to problems associated with network congestion, higher transaction fees, and price volatility. Microsoft ended up bringing bitcoin back after confirming with BitPay that payments lower than $100 can still be made via the bitcoin payment processor.
In addition to the abandonment of bitcoin by merchants and payment processors, we’ve also seen bitcoin-focused companies change their focus. 
For example, Coinbase was originally competing with BitPay as a Bitcoin payment processor, but the company is now mainly a digital asset brokerage. In fact, they no longer accept new merchant signups. 
It turns out people don’t want to have some bitcoin on their smartphones in order to buy coffee at Starbucks. Instead, people want to speculate on the price of Bitcoin and other cryptoassets at the tap of a button. - Forbes


Post a Comment