A chainanalysis study cited by Reuters this past Tuesday shows that the commercial use of Bitcoin (BTC) has dropped considerably this year.
Chainanalysis reportedly conducted a survey on 17 Bitcoin payment processors in preparation for the study. The survey showed that the number of Bitcoin transactions conducted via the processors had dropped by 80 percent from January to September of this year.
This baffling drop in figures led to individual assessments of some of the processors. One such processor was Canadian outfit, Coinpayments, which had seen the value of Bitcoin transactions drop by more than half from January to October 2018. Such baffling numbers were given some credence by global director of Fintech strategy at research firm Autonomous Next, Lex Sokolin. Lex stated that “Bitcoin payments processing is seeing a slow but consistent decline.”
There reportedly isn’t sufficient data on the most consistently used cryptocurrency for payments since trades with other currencies are commonly lumped together with its use for commercial payments.
Despite the drop in Bitcoin’s use in payments, Chainanalysis recognizes and acknowledges the coin’s growing stability currently. The value of Bitcoin payments reportedly slumped from $427 million last December to $96 million in September 2018.
While many believe that BTC’s relative stability this year will result in the mainstream deployment of it as a payment method some individuals, customers, and commercial organizations believe that stability is not enough, for it to be fully trusted for payments.
A strategist at a financial firm based in London, Joni Teves, commented on the topic, stating that Bitcoin needed to become faster and cheaper, noting that development of clearer rules on the asset would help give users a sense of legitimacy.
Things have looked even grimmer for BTC payments after Microsoft announced it would cease accepting Bitcoins as a means of payment. Thankfully, Microsoft backpedaled on this after taking its own steps to ensure lower Bitcoin amounts would be redeemable by customers.
Gaming platform Steam, which had been known to accept Bitcoin payments, announced that an end to that citing volatility issues, low transaction speeds, and growing transaction fees.
If you thought that Bitcoin’s status as a stable and reliable payment option would have been assured by now, then you were sadly wrong. There is still a lot of work ahead if Bitcoin’s use in payments is going to rise.