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PayFast drops Bitcoin

The first South African payment gateway to include Bitcoin among its payment options, PayFast, has advised merchants that it will no longer accept the cryptocurrency.

It has blamed both high transaction fees and the time it takes to process a transaction.
“Unfortunately there are a number of limitations and design flaws unique to Bitcoin that make it an impractical substitute for cash, including high transaction fees and long confirmation times for buyers,” a company statement said.

“We’ve tried various ways to mitigate these problems, but unfortunately, these issues are fundamental. The resultant poor user experience has led us to re-evaluate Bitcoin as a payment method on our platform and a decision has been taken to discontinue support for Bitcoin from midnight 20 July 2019.”

PayFast said constant innovation and improvements were being made to both the Bitcoin network and the way cryptocurrencies are built, and it was “eagerly following the developments of cryptocurrencies and the supporting technologies that are aiming to enable faster payments”.

It did not close the door to future integration: “As soon as these become workable alternatives, we look forward to supporting cryptocurrencies as a payment method in the future.”

PayFast has advised merchants who are currently promoting it as a PayFast payment method on their websites to remove any logos and references to Bitcoin before 20 July 2019.

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