Coinbase Pulls the Plug on Bitcoin Payments for Merchants: Find Out More!

In a surprising move, Coinbase, one of the leading cryptocurrency exchanges, has recently announced that it is removing support for native Bitcoin payments and other UTXO coins from its payment platform for merchants, Coinbase Commerce. This decision has sparked a wave of discussions and debates within the crypto community, as it raises questions about the future of Bitcoin adoption and the challenges faced by companies in delivering updates on their payment protocols.

The Difficult Decision of Coinbase

Coinbase’s head of product, Lauren Dowling, took to X (formerly Twitter) to explain the reasoning behind the decision. According to Dowling, the company made the difficult choice to remove native Bitcoin and other UTXO support from Coinbase Commerce due to challenges in delivering recent updates on its EVM payment protocol for Bitcoin. The new Commerce product enforces on-chain payment details, supports hundreds of assets, and automatically converts payments to USDC on-chain for merchants. However, delivering these same capabilities on the Bitcoin blockchain without smart contracts and stablecoins proved to be a challenging task.

Impact on Merchants and Shoppers

With the removal of native Bitcoin support on Coinbase Commerce, merchants who relied on accepting Bitcoin payments directly through the platform will need to find alternative solutions. However, shoppers who have a Coinbase account can still use Bitcoin to make purchases, as noted by Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong. Additionally, Coinbase is actively working on integrating the Lightning Network into its platform, which could potentially provide opportunities for commerce payments with faster transaction times and lower fees.

The UTXO Model and Bitcoin Adoption

To understand the implications of Coinbase’s decision, it’s essential to delve into the UTXO model and its role in Bitcoin transactions. Bitcoin uses the UTXO model, which stands for Unspent Transaction Output. This model is designed to provide transparency and security, ensuring that each transaction’s details are enforced on the blockchain. However, it lacks the flexibility and smart contract capabilities of Ethereum’s account model. Coins like Dogecoin, Litecoin, Dash, and Bitcoin Cash, which are forked from Bitcoin, also utilize the UTXO model.

Critics of Coinbase’s decision argue that it hampers Bitcoin adoption by assuming that every customer is in the US and able to open a Coinbase account. This limitation can create barriers for merchants who solely bank with other financial institutions and want to accept Bitcoin payments. The pseudonymous user CR1337 expressed concerns about Coinbase’s actions, stating that the company may not be as committed to the advancement of cryptocurrencies as it claims to be.

“Coinbase is often acting as if they are fighting the good fight, but don’t be fooled, they aren’t. Example, ‘Coinbase Commerce’ no longer supports payments from self-custody wallets or third-party exchanges.” – CR1337

The Future of Crypto Payments

Coinbase’s decision to remove native Bitcoin payments from its platform raises larger questions about the future of cryptocurrency payments. While Bitcoin is the most well-known and widely adopted cryptocurrency, its limitations in terms of transaction fees and confirmation times have hindered its mainstream adoption for commerce payments. Many experts believe that for crypto payments to truly go mainstream, solutions must be found to address these challenges.

Brian Armstrong, the CEO of Coinbase, acknowledges this need for improvement and emphasizes the importance of moving away from layer 1 solutions. He believes that reducing transaction fees and confirmation times, along with the adoption of layer 2 solutions like the Lightning Network, will be crucial in accelerating the adoption of crypto payments for online commerce.

“Zooming out – we think paying for stuff online with crypto won’t really go mainstream until we get off layer 1, and reduce transaction fees and confirmation times, so we’re trying to accelerate the move toward that world.” – Brian Armstrong


Coinbase’s decision to remove native Bitcoin payments from its merchants’ platform has raised concerns and sparked discussions within the crypto community. While the move may create challenges for merchants who relied on Coinbase Commerce for accepting Bitcoin payments, it also highlights the need for improved solutions in the crypto space. As the industry continues to evolve, finding ways to address issues such as transaction fees and confirmation times will be crucial for the mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies in commerce. In the meantime, merchants and shoppers alike will need to explore alternative payment solutions to navigate this changing landscape.