Cryptocurrency Merchants Experience Payments Decline in 2018 – Is it Possible to Change the Trend?
In the last months, we have seen that virtual currencies have expanded all over the world. Different merchants, companies and other retail stores have been using different services to accept payments in virtual currencies.
But those services are starting to receive less bitcoin and cryptocurrencies than before. Why? The main issues are related to volatility, transaction fees and inability to reverse transactions.
Back in September 2017, companies such as BitPay, Coinfy and GoCoin received over $411 million dollars. In May 2018, it registered $60 million dollars and now they have registered $69 million.
That means that people are not using bitcoin as they did in the past to make daily purchases. Of course this may be related to the bear market that started back in December 2017 after Bitcoin reached $20,000 dollars.
Some experts believe that the way Bitcoin is being used is changing. Volatility, transaction fees and the inability to cancel a payment are among the main issues that harm Bitcoin.
Nicholas Weaver, of the International Computer Science Institute, commented:
“It’s not actually usable. The net cost of a Bitcoin transaction is far more than a credit card transaction.”
The senior economist at Chainanalysis, Kim Grauer, has also blamed volatility despite the bear market. For example, he mentions that an investor could lose $1,000 from one day to the other.
It is important to mention that different companies have decided to stop supporting Bitcoin. We can mention Stripe Inc and Expedia.
Bitcoin fees have also been changing during time. In December, a transaction using Bitcoin could cost $54 dollars. Currently, fees are under $1 dollar. If a small company wants to accept virtual currency payments for small items such as coffee or food, this volatility in the fees does not help.
But other currencies have also showing some problems, for example, Ethereum has also registered high transaction fees in the last times.
Even with $54 dollars per transaction, it is cheaper to pay using Bitcoin than PayPal, or traditional methods such as bank transfers.
Not Everything Is Lost
Even after all these problems Coinbase has launched a plugin for web stores to accept virtual currency payments.
The plugin is known as WooCommerce and it will be very easy for websites to start accepting virtual currencies. The company believes that this plugin may help Bitcoin and virtual currencies to spread everywhere around the world.
The official blog post of the announcement reads as follows:
“The widely-used plugin powers more than 28% of all online stores – and all of them now have access to cryptocurrency payments from customers around the world. This increased access will lead to move widespread adoption, and ultimately, moves us closer to our goal of an open financial system.”