BitPay is one of the most popular cryptocurrency payment gateways, and it’s used by countless companies around the globe. It works by accepting Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash then automatically converting it into a fiat currency of the vendor’s choice. This eliminates the risk of volatility and allows vendors to run their business as normal. Unfortunately, Germany BitPay users woke up to a very nasty surprise on Thursday as BitPay cut its support for Germany. This left hundreds of its users scratching their heads, and little explanation from BitPay.
A Possible Regulation Throwing a Spanner in the Works
Germany’s Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht (BaFin) passed a new regulation on the last day of July that will have a huge impact on the German crypto scene come February 1 2020. Under the new regulations, all private key custodians – crypto exchanges and payment services providers – will need to have a special license from the BaFin. Existing custodians will have until February 1 2020 to let BaFin know about their operations and until June 30 2020 to apply for a license. This new regulation could very well have scared BitPay off and forced it to shut its doors in Germany. While it is a little soon, we’ve seen a lot of American companies shut up shop and change operations months before regulations go live.
Germany Wants Europe to Adopt the Law
Anyone who’s hot on European politics will already be asking the question, are Germany going to press the EU to adopt the law? Well, as a matter of fact it is already pressing the EU to adopt the law and introduce other crypto regulations. It’s in Germany’s interest for a European directive on crypto, as all nations in the Bloc will have to conform to a standard. As it stands, Malta already has a range of crypto regulations, but the regulations are looking rather sketchy and Malta is wavering as the blockchain island.
For now, it looks like German companies that were accepting crypto through BitPay will have to find an alternative. There are plenty of other options out there, including setting up your own crypto wallet and accepting crypto directly into it. BTCPay Server is another great option that merchants can look into. Alternatively, merchants could explore the option of joining a decentralized marketplace like Particl and taking matters into their own hands. So, while BitPay shutting its doors in Germany is potentially scary, it won’t impact the German market too much.