Payment processor Stripe announced Tuesday that it will end support for bitcoin as a payment method in April.
Product manager Tom Karlo wrote in a blog post that Stripe would transition away from bitcoin over the next three months, fully ending support for the largest cryptocurrency on April 23, 2018.
Stripe first enabled bitcoin transactions in 2015, a move that came a year after first testing the technology. At the time, residents from more than 60 different countries could pay merchants on Stripe's network using bitcoin.
However, lengthy transaction times, an increasing transaction failure rate, and growing fees mean bitcoin is becoming less popular among Stripe's merchants and users, Karlo wrote.
While Stripe will no longer accept bitcoin payments, Stripe remains "very optimistic about cryptocurrencies overall," Karlo wrote, saying he believes support for other coins may be implemented at a future date.
The problematic fees were similarly cited by gaming services firm Steam, which announced in early December that it would stop offering support for bitcoin payments. At the time, a representative for the company said that the elevated fees "cause even greater problems when the value of bitcoin itself drops dramatically."
In the Stripe post, Karlo left the door open to enabling payments in other cryptocurrencies, namely stellar lumens, the currency of the Stellar network.
"We may add support for Stellar (to which we provided seed funding) if substantive use continues to grow," he wrote.
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.