Checkmate For Bitcoin, As Cites KYC ‘Frustration’?


Oh, the games people play — but maybe not paid for with bitcoin.

Much has been made about the lack of use cases for bitcoin to be used in the world at large, as in real commerce applications, and where transactions are both friction-filled and scarce. Turns out that the marquee name in cryptocurrency may be still relegated to the sidelines of speculation.

Consider the news, as reported via sites such as beincrypto and elsewhere, that late last week the gaming platform said it would be re-installing support for bitcoin and BitPay (the processor tied to transactions) used as a payment choice for premium subscriptions.

But not so fast. Turns out, as reported, the site has had to “temporarily” suspend payments done with bitcoin, in part due what has been termed “super frustrating” know your customer (KYC) hurdles, and the fact that BitPay has a $10 limit per transaction. According to the report, the more than 27.3 million members of the site will have to pay using fiat. The site said, per commentary from CEO Erik Allebest, “I did NOT know that we can’t receive more than $10 at a time on this account!? It didn’t say that anywhere I saw.

“Anyway, in order to accept our membership payments I have to send in my personal utility bills or mortgage documents, photos of my drivers license or passport, and a bunch of company documents. That’s super frustrating, and given that I’m out of town, impossible until next week :/ Anyway, I will get to it, but I have to say that this is a frustrating amount of bureaucracy, and I hope these KYC issues get resolved one day.”

In illumination of the friction that might be in place using BitPay — and by extension, bitcoin as a payment method — noted that the CEO had received 100 automated emails from BitPay that stated the payments could not be completed. The verification data must manually be reviewed by BitPay. And in reference to why had withdrawn support in the past, that strategic move was due in part to sliding interest in, and volumes of, cryptocurrency payments in general.

In another shift away from cryptocurrencies by a gaming outfit, Stream said at the end of 2017 that it stopped accepting bitcoin amid high transaction fees, which at the time stood at $20 per transaction.



The PYMNTS Cross-Border Merchant Friction Index analyzes the key friction points experienced by consumers browsing, shopping and paying for purchases on international eCommerce sites. PYMNTS examined the checkout processes of 266 B2B and B2C eCommerce sites across 12 industries and operating from locations across Europe and the United States to provide a comprehensive overview of their checkout offerings.