When it comes to online payment standards, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is finding it difficult to engage the bitcoin community.
“It’s proven easier to get a bank to participate in payments standards than a bitcoin community company,” says Manu Sporny, chairman of the W3C Web Payments community group and founder and CEO of web platform startup Digital Bazaar.
Because it’s still early days for the bitcoin industry, he says, these companies aren’t looking to interoperate, but instead want to dominate the web payments market.
Founded by Internet creator Tim Berners-Lee, the W3C is the preeminent organization for developing international standards for the web. Its work in online payments started about five years ago with a simple goal – sending a payment should be as easy as sending an email in the digital world, a value proposition familiar to many bitcoin enthusiasts.
Toward this end, the group has discussed how to ease the process of adding new payment mechanisms to the web, expanding consumer choice. But web payments groups have struggled to get participation from the bitcoin industry.
When competing at the standards level, the blockchain community is of