Canadian precious metals custodian Goldmoney has announced that it will be shutting down its cryptocurrency business, effective immediately.
In a press release issued March 6, the company said that its customers will no longer be able to make new purchases using cryptocurrency. Existing users that have any stored crypto balance on the platform have also been asked to take further action before the May 6 deadline.
Goldmoney said that it is committed to working with customers to ensure that their cryptocurrency balances are either delivered safely to private wallets or liquidated on the platform in exchange for other assets. Post the deadline, the company will step in and sell any remaining cryptocurrency on behalf of users with remaining balances. Proceeds from such sales will go directly to the customer’s holding, according to the press release.
No More Crypto
So far, the precious metals company has not explained why it is withdrawing support for crypto-based assets. However, it said that the decision was arrived at after the company’s Board of Directors conducted a review of several undisclosed factors surrounding the digital currency market.
Goldmoney first announced support for Bitcoin (BTC) investments less than two years ago, on Nov 15, 2017. The company offered the digital currency as an offline investable asset similar to gold and other precious metals. At the time, the company said that it would be storing client Bitcoin in a password-protected, cold-storage hardware wallet solution for a monthly fee of 0.085 percent. As a result, Goldmoney customers were never allowed to withdraw their Bitcoin holding to a third-party exchange or wallet.
Is Ending Bitcoin Support the Norm?
Notably, Goldmoney is not the only company to have withdrawn support for cryptocurrency in recent times.
Last year, payment processing giant Stripe announced that it would no longer allow payments in Bitcoin, citing price fluctuation and higher fees as the primary reasons for the move. In that vein, digital video game marketplace Steam also withdrew the ability to purchase merchandise in exchange for Bitcoin in late 2017. In both instances, the companies noted that singular transactions required users to pay fees upwards of $10 — making Bitcoin an unsuitable choice for smaller payments.
However, Stripe and Steam both acknowledged that Bitcoin and the rest of the cryptocurrency market could have other potential use-cases in the future. While Stripe mused with the possibility of a Lightning Network integration, Steam simply said that it would evaluate Bitcoin acceptance at some later date. However, with cryptocurrency prices plummeting and market sentiment turning negative since then, neither company has issued updates on the matter.
Do you think companies ending support for Bitcoin signals a step back in terms of crypto adoption? Let us know what you think in the comments below!