BitPay Suspends German Operations to Mull Over New Regulations

In late July, Germany's financial regulator announced that crypto businesses will need a license starting in 2020.

BitPay, a payment processor that allows merchants to receive payments in Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash, has suspended its operations in Germany indefinitely. The announcement came in a blog post that was updated by the company on August 1, 2019.

In a CoinTelegraph report on the announcement, BitPay PR representative Jan Jahosky explained that the creation and adoption of new regulations in the country is the reason behind the suspension; specifically, the country will require cryptocurrency businesses to obtain a license issued by the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority starting next year.

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“Germany has publicly stated that they want crypto companies to apply for a license starting in 2020,” Jahosky told the publication. “We have paused operations in Germany while we evaluate the need for German licenses.”

BitPay’s withdrawal from Germany likely will not have a major impact

BitPay’s suspension of services to German merchants has already publicly affected at least one business. Computer Base, a German technology news outlet, announced yesterday that it would no longer accept payments in Bitcoin as a direct result of BitPay’s withdrawal from the country.

However, the end of Bitcoin payments likely won’t have a huge effect on the company’s revenue–the vast majority of the publication’s subscribers use PayPal to pay for their subscriptions; a smaller group uses wire transfers.

Indeed, it seems that only a fringe of Computer Base’ payments used Bitcoin to pay for their subscriptions.

This is likely to be the case with most other companies that used BitPay to offering Bitcoin as a payment option in Germany. Because there are many well-established and easily-accessible electronic payment systems in Germany, BitPay’s withdrawal will likely have a low impact; if the company were to withdraw from a market in which Bitcoin was a more popular payment option, the impact would likely be larger.

BitPay Presses On

Meanwhile, BitPay is pressing on with its business elsewhere in the world with some new updates to its front-end platform.

Yesterday, the company announced updates to its “payments, login, and ID verification,” as well as the launch of a “dashboard” that “provides users access to transaction history and a personalized home for both their blockchain payments and future BitPay payment features.”

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