Bitcoin is back on Stripe.
The payments company has announced that customers will once again be able to convert incoming payments or any balances into Bitcoin four years after suspending the service.
This time, Stripe’s Bitcoin transactions will be powered by an app created in partnership with OpenNode.
The crypto startup leverages the Lightning Network, a Bitcoin scaling solution that processes transactions off-chain, making operations on the premier blockchain faster and cheaper. In February, OpenNode secured a $20 million Series A funding round.
The speed and affordability offered by the Lightning Network were key to Stripe’s return to Bitcoin. Back in 2018, when Bitcoin services were first removed, the firm cited rising fees and lagging transaction times as evidence that Bitcoin had “become better-suited to being an asset than being a means of exchange.”
At the time, Stripe identified the Lighting Network as a promising technology that could one day improve Bitcoin’s status as a convenient digital currency for customers.
According to the firm, that day is here.
“The app gives businesses a simple and secure way to convert incoming payments to Bitcoin in real-time, automatically or on-demand,” said Josh Held, OpenNode’s head of strategy, in a statement. The app is expected to launch for Stripe users in a few weeks.
Bitcoin adoption and ‘Crypto Winter’
The development comes in the throes of what many consider to be the next Crypto Winter.
As of yesterday, Bitcoin has been down for a record eight consecutive weeks; since last November, it has shed over 55% of its value.
Despite this, the last few weeks have seen companies lining up to integrate crypto into their daily operations not as speculative assets but as forms of accepted payment.
Cédric Charbit, CEO of the fashion label Balenciaga, one such company, stated recently that such a strategy was simply “long-term” thinking.
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