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Was getting ready to use the very popular website for online services, Fiverr, yesterday, and discovered they are taking a step back with their business for 2017. The Bitcoin payment option I have been using since 2014 is no more.
For the few who do not know, Fiverr is the world’s leading online freelance services website that offers “gigs” provided by vendors for just $5 USD. These gigs range from writing press releases to doing SEO. Fiverr announced, almost three years ago, next month, that they were accepting Bitcoin as a medium of exchange for their vendor’s services.
I contacted their customer service, asking what the problem was with the acceptance of Bitcoin. It took about four hours to get the response. I’ll relay the exchange we had. The name of the agent we spoke with is largely irrelevant to the issue at hand, and the agent doesn’t set corporate payment policy.
‘Purely a Business Decision’
Me: “Trying to order a gig and I don’t see the Bitcoin option I’ve been using every time I’m here. What seems to be the problem? I would use Fiverr a lot less without that option. Please update me when this issue is resolved. Thanks.”
Fiverr: “Hi, Fiverr is no longer accepting Bitcoins as a method of payment. We apologize for any inconvenience caused. We do offer Paypal and Credit card transactions.”
Me: “Is there a reason why you are not accepting Bitcoins? Is there a reason why I will hardly use Fiverr going forward? I have been sending you Bitcoin for over 2 years. Why is this happening?”
Fiverr: “Hi, this is purely a business decision. Unfortunately, I am unable to elaborate further. I am sorry that you will hardly use Fiverr due to this change, but we are still looking into additional payment methods and options for the future.”
This is clearly a stock answer their corporate management has fed to their customer service staff when it relates to Bitcoin inquiries going forward. It is an odd time for Fiverr to turn their back on the payment option after almost three years. Much more people around the world are using Bitcoin now than they were in 2014, so the payments to Fiverr really couldn’t have gone down since then, only up.
Other online retailers like Newegg, another long time Bitcoin supporter, has actually just moved Bitcoin up its payment rankings when checking out, making it more prominent as an option than ever before.
What’s Really Going on Here?
Since Fiverr Support is being ordered to hide the reason for this change, I’ll speculate that it is related to their association with Coinbase. Their wallet being with Coinbase means that they were most likely subject to the scrutiny of the “John Doe” summons from the IRS last year. This may have been creating some logistical and legal headaches they didn’t want to be subject to going forward.
So this power grab by The State may have had some unintended consequences that damaged Bitcoin mainstream adoption. Being an American-based business comes with these kinds of legal issues and over-regulation that drive businesses overseas.
My recommendation is that if you are an ardent supporter of the Bitcoin community, to spend five minutes today going to Fiverr and hit up their Customer Support asking for the Bitcoin option. Let them know this will hurt their business in 2017.
If the people of the United States can elect Donald Trump for President, the people have the power to get Fiverr back in line with “The Future of Money.”
If everyone reading this article hit their support staff, supporting Bitcoin, we can make a difference. I know I will use Fiverr much less, and this is not rhetoric, this is a fact, but I can’t do this alone. So what are you waiting for? You know what to do. Let your Bitcoin voice be heard and give ‘em hell!
Will you stop using this service now that it no longer supports Bitcoin? Share your thoughts below!
Images courtesy of Fiverr, Shutterstock