BitPay has announced it is raising its minimum invoice amount from 4 cents to $1 as an “exponential” increase in miner fees takes its toll.
BitPay: Micropayments Becoming ‘Uneconomical’
In a release Wednesday, the payment provider said that amid record transaction volumes, the change “will protect consumers from creating un-economical transactions and remove our own risk for processing unprofitable transactions.”
“Now that fees are reaching an average of $1 per transaction across the Bitcoin network, it’s becoming uneconomical for users to make micropayments under $1,” it added.
The new fee structure will go into effect today (March 9th, 2017).
CEO Stephen Pair revealed earlier this week that Bitpay’s miner fee expenditure had risen 3,500% since January 2016.
“The fees aren’t just rising, they’re rising exponentially,” he wrote on Medium.
At some point, an equilibrium will be reached and we will discover the true value of having a transaction secured by the most powerful computing network mankind has ever deployed.
CEO Pair: Altcoin Usurping Bitcoin ‘Unlikely’
Amid rising tension between rival camps regarding the solution to Bitcoin’s capacity problem, Pair nonetheless said believed there was no viable threat from alternative digital currencies.
“Some people believe that an alt-coin will rise and take over. We think that’s unlikely,” he wrote.
What is actually happening is that a market is forming between on-chain, mining-secured payments and off-chain, more conventionally secured payments.
The on-chain, off-chain debate has previously been touched on by Andreas Antonopoulos, who in a blog post from January went into detail about the security concerns presented for users.
“We are not facing a choice between all-on-chain or some-off-chain. We have already departed from all-on-chain and for good reasons,” he wrote responding to a previous post by entrepreneur Tuur Demeester.
Echoing Antonopoulos’ level-headed approach to the problem, Pair delivered an upbeat conclusion for the future.
“Both sides of the debate seem to believe that Bitcoin will be destroyed if the other side gets their way. We are somewhat less fatalistic — we believe a variety of scaling solutions will materialize, and Bitcoin will enjoy continued success,” he said.
“In fact, we think Bitcoin is working perfectly.”
In Defense of Current Fees
BitPay co-founder Tony Gallippi meanwhile took to Twitter defending Bitcoin’s current fee levels, saying that the price between automated clearing house and wire transfers was “a good spot.”
hi again @dandolfa the cost of a bitcoin transaction ( typ $1) is between an ACH (typ 10 cents) and FedWire (typ $10-20). that's a good spot
— Tony Gallippi (@TonyGallippi) March 7, 2017
Merchants new to Bitpay meanwhile can still experiment with sub-$1 transactions using the company’s inbuilt testnet.
Will the increase in transaction fees have a negative impact on Bitcoin adoption? Share your thoughts below!
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter