Things are only getting worse for Bitcoin as news aggregation and discussion platform Reddit disabled Bitcoin payments for the Reddit Gold membership.
This significant change in policy first came to public attention when Reddit user r/BitcoinXio shared a video that explained how Reddit Gold memberships could be gifted to non-members.
Notably, PayPal and credit cards were the only two available payment options and naturally, this raised some concerns.
Reddit was one of the first big names to adopt the cryptocurrency for the Gold membership program back in 2013, giving it a major boost in popularity.
Now, the website has decided to stop using the digital currency for its membership program in the future, blaming a number of bugs in the current payment system and also citing Bitcoin’s exorbitant transaction fees.
Bitcoin has tried to address the issue in recent times, bringing down a fee that peaked at around $60 last year to a somewhat more reasonable margin. Still, Bitcoin is not the currency it used to be, and the recent Bitcoin adbans on major social media sites shows that support for the digital currency is dwindling rapidly.
Coinbase Changing to Coinbase Commerce
The official word from one of the site moderators, r/emoney40, said that Reddit’s decision to stop accepting Bitcoin payments was chiefly influenced by the presence of bugs in the current payment system.
Like many other companies, Reddit also relied on Coinbase’s merchant tools, which will be withdrawn by the month’s end, to complete their Bitcoin transactions.
Coinbase is now Coinbase Commerce, and it has been announced that the adopters of Bitcoin have until May 31 to switch to this new platform.
As things stand, Reddit Gold memberships can only be purchased through conventional means. While this proves to be more reliable and affordable (at least at the moment), no one is truly happy about the change, especially since a large amount of Reddit users are supporters of online anonymity.
But Bitcoin is still not a viable solution, even when anonymity is at stake. Previous incidents have shown that the digital currency is not as secure as most users of the internet would like it to be. Altcoins like Litecoin already appear to be more superior, at least on that score.
Even though Bitcoin transaction fees took a nosedive over the first quarter of 2018, there is little assurance that the digital currency is stable in any way, or that it will endure this spell of poor performances on the stock market.
Coinbase’s switch to Coinbase Commerce will no doubt put pressure on more big-name platforms to stop accepting Bitcoin, even if it’s temporary. From April 30, Coinbase will withdraw all its merchant tools, and May’s end, companies are expected to have completed the transition to the new platform.
Regardless, these changes will likely do little to affect both the price and the volatility of Bitcoin, whose value is now dictated by the mainstream financial market.
Even though Reddit appeared quick to redact their Bitcoin policy, it remains unclear whether Reddit Gold memberships will be tied to the user’s real identity from now henceforth. This will mean bad news for the platform’s users who rely heavily on anonymity.
Bitcoin Quickly Losing Popularity
Reddit’s decision to stop accepting Bitcoin might be due to Coinbase’s change in infrastructure, but it is more than evident that the digital currency is on a steep decline in popularity.
Only recently, Twitter joined the growing list of tech giants that have banned all Bitcoin-related ads on their platforms after Facebook and Google took the lead earlier this year.
This is indicative of a negative trend, especially since Bitcoin’s decentralized nature means that a lack of popularity can affect its value in the long run. Without unveiling anything concrete, r/emoney40 revealed that the platform is currently looking into Coinbase Commerce for the future. User interests will play a big part in whether they finally accept the new program or not.
Bitcoin has suffered several significant blows since it entered mainstream dominance in early 2017. Although Reddit is the most recent big name to stop using the digital currency, last year also saw an alarming string of boycotts from major companies such as Steam.
Even with its now-moderate transaction fees, Bitcoin’s predicament may only get worse in the future.