Two days ago, the popular online gaming platform Chess.com announced that it would be reintroducing support for Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) as payment methods for premium subscriptions.
However, according to a comment by the website’s CEO Erik Allebest, the option had to be disabled due to know-your-customer (KYC) compliance issues. In a comment on Reddit, Allebest said that BitPay, the platform’s Bitcoin payment processor, is refusing to accept payments valued over $10.
Hidden KYC Obligation
Allebest first noticed something was amiss when he received 100 automated emails from BitPay with the subject line ‘Cannot receive payment’. According to him, the payment service provider did not make the $10 limit obvious enough during the registration process. As a result, he did not realize the KYC compliance obligation until the payment links were already generated and added to Chess.com.
To remedy the situation, Allebest said that he has no choice but to send over his personal utility bills or mortgage documents, photos of his driver’s license or passport, and a set of other documents related to the company. Until these details are manually verified by BitPay, the $10 limit will continue to exist. However, the CEO said that he would not be able to forward the documents until next week when he returns home.
Allebest said that the KYC compliance step was a frustrating experience for him. Despite all the troubles, he reaffirmed his commitment to bringing back cryptocurrency payments to the platform, stating that he hopes to resolve the KYC bureaucracy in the near future.
Bitcoin Acceptance Declining?
A number of Reddit users also took the opportunity to ask why Chess.com withdrew support for Bitcoin payments in the first place.
Allebest explained that Chess.com’s Bitcoin payment links were originally generated through Coinbase’s payment processing system instead. However, the links were deprecated at some time in the past, presumably when the cryptocurrency exchange announced the launch of Coinbase Merchant. This incident, coupled with shrinking volumes and interest in the cryptocurrency market, were the primary reasons for the discontinuation of Bitcoin payments on the platform.
Notably, many other websites and companies have also withdrawn support for cryptocurrency payments over the past couple of years for similar reasons.
Digital video game distribution platform Steam stopped accepting Bitcoin in December of 2017, citing high transaction fees and price volatility. At the time, the average fee per Bitcoin transaction had skyrocketed to double digits due to increased network activity, peaking at around $20.
Which goods and services have you paid for in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies? Let us know in the comments below!