Stripe: Bitcoin “gateways” will revolutionize payments system

A recent blog post by Stripe offers an upbeat and detailed depiction of how Bitcoin will transform the world of

A recent blog post by Stripe offers an upbeat and detailed depiction of how Bitcoin will transform the world of payments.

Stripe provides payment processing tools for websites and mobile apps. They seek to make the checkout process as easy as possible, by for example, enabling mobile users to securely pay without having enter credit card details each time.

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Recently, they launched their beta program for bitcoin payments. The company endeavors to anticipate the future of payment technologies, with co-founder Patrick Collison commenting, “We acknowledge that bitcoin is important today … it may or may not be important in five years.”

The blog post appeared more decided on the future for Bitcoin. It focuses on the world of cross-border payments, and how the current system has not evolved much in the past 20 years. Bitcoin can change this in the same way the internet has made the flow of information virtually seamless, even between countries:

“Compounding the issue, value transport becomes especially challenging as soon as there’s a regional border involved. This is in stark contrast to the transmission of information: if you’re using the internet in Honduras, you don’t need to figure out how to hook up your local ISP to send packets to Kenya. But traditional payment systems look a lot like computer networks before the internet.”

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Money is often defined as possessing the following three attributes: (1) a store of value (2) a unit of account and (3) a medium of exchange. It has been argued that Bitcoin only possesses the third attribute. Interestingly, the post argues that Bitcoin already has the first two attributes, the third requiring development.

Bitcoin “gateways” in each region would bridge the gap between Bitcoin and the local currency, much to the same as existing systems for fiat. As such, trust systems involving reputable processors will develop. To maximize the usefulness of these systems and minimize the risks they pose, the post argues that some form of centralization is inevitable- a contentious proposition in the Bitcoin community.

The post didn’t go as far as to indicate that Bitcoin would become a real, liquid currency in the future.

It is unclear what Stripe’s next steps for Bitcoin implementation are, the blog leaving enthusiasts to stay tuned as they are “actively investigating other functionality” and that they they’ll “have other updates on this front before too long.”

The post ends by stating, “If we get things right, life is going to be much better for billions of people.”

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