Tarsnap, the privacy-oriented backup service announced today in an email from its founder that it would be suspending the ability to pay for its services using Bitcoin. The decision was made by Tarsnap on Tuesday.
‘The final straw came on Tuesday when Stripe (which Tarsnap uses for both credit card and Bitcoin payments) announced that they were going to cease their support for Bitcoin , due to exactly the same problems as I noticed…’
With Stripe citing high transaction fees and volatility as the reason for its decision. Tarsnap is not the first company to stop accepting Bitcoin based on these reasons. It is the continuation of a trend started by Steam and Microsoft (though Microsoft has since reversed its decision). The email stated that Tarsnap will cease accepting Bitcoin payments on April 1st. Tarsnap chose the date presumably to allow customers using Bitcoin to secure other means of payment.
Tarsnap’s future plans
The email went further to state that Tarsnap intends looking into other cryptocurrencies for payment. Specifically referencing wanting Stripe to support them. And indicating a want for currencies not based on proof of work. The email links to a Stripe announcement where it is mentioned that Stripe is looking at the Lightning Network, OmiseGO, Ethereum, and Stellar. With a comment towards Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, and other ‘Bitcoin variants’ as a possible solution as well.
End of Bitcoin as a payment option?
Tarsnap’s decision is one of a few made in recent months that paint Bitcoin used as a payment mechanism in a bad light. The idea that Bitcoin is more of a commodity than a currency is not a new one. Though it’s not an idea that has completely taken hold (yet?). If this trend continues, Bitcoin may find itself left behind as other cryptocurrencies take the lead in usability and adoption. Though only time will tell what lies in Bitcoin’s future.