Coinbase announced the launch of their Coinbase Commerce API on April 3rd. This represents an interesting step in the cryptocurrency world as it will allow eCommerce merchants to accept multiple cryptocurrencies in a “user controlled wallet”. This means that those stores that want to accept cryptocurrencies will no longer have to expend energy developing their own payment platform. With platforms like Stripe recently ending its support for Bitcoin payments, it’ss a chance for Coinbase to position itself as an essential component in the continued growth of cryptocurrency.
A number of well-established eCommerce platforms, including Shopify, will have Coinbase Commerce integration.
The Coinbase team explained in a post on Medium:
Starting today, instead of manually creating payment buttons or hosted pages to accept cryptocurrency payments, you can dynamically generate them using our API…
Coinbase Commerce and Reddit
However, this product launch hasn’t been straightforward for Coinbase. The social media platform Reddit announced at the end of March that it would cease using Bitcoin as a means of paying for premium membership. This was revealed to be, in part, due to the launch of the new product. On Reddit, admin emoney04 said:
“Yup that’s right. The upcoming Coinbase change, combined with some bugs around the Bitcoin payment option that were affecting purchases for certain users, led us to remove Bitcoin as a payment option.”
However, while this news may be frustrating for Coinbase, Reddit is open to accepting bitcoin payments again. emoney04 went on to say that “we’re going to take a look at demand and watch the progression of Coinbase Commerce before making a decision on whether to reenable”.
Community misgivings about Coinbase Commerce
However, as an article on BTCManager notes, there are some misgivings within the community that Coinbase Commerce represents a move away from the original peer to peer philosophy behind cryptocurrency. BTCManager quoted Reddit user Bitcoin-Yoda:
“A purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution. Any intermediary between your BTC payment and the merchant is violating the definition of Bitcoin and your privacy.”