BitPay, the Atlanta, Georgia-based global bitcoin payment processor founded in May 2011, has updated its term of use. The document, which was updated on March 1, 2018, states that from April, it will no longer render services to merchants that are into the sale of explicit sexual content and explicitly forbidden goods and services such as sales of narcotics, research chemicals, ammunition, firearms, and explosives (including fireworks).
A specific clause further outlined that the sale “of cash or cash equivalents, including items used for speculation or hedging purposes (such as derivatives), and the sale or trade of cryptocurrencies,” would also be forbidden.
The newly updated document also places restrictions on sales of products that infringe or violate intellectual property rights like trademarks and others, as well as payments that support Ponzi and other pyramid schemes. In perhaps a more severe bent, any services that compete with BitPay and credit repair or debt settlement services would also render a contract breach between merchants.
BitPay also made it categorically clear that all firms that use its platform for foreign exchange services, the sales of bitcoin mining hardware, banking, layaway systems, gambling, sports betting and many other restricted activities would need to obtain express authorization from the company in writing, before carrying out such transactions.
A Two Month Quit Notice
Fortunately, these new requirements will not be effective immediately. The fintech firm has given affected clients a two month grace period to migrate their systems to other supporting payment processors and has sent an official notice to that effect.
Saffron, whose business is the creation of explicit sexual content online, has uploaded a screenshot of the notice BitPay sent via Social media. The letter reads:
It is expected that other cryptocurrency payment processors might follow in the steps of BitPay and stop facilitating payments for the above-mentioned businesses. How these merchants will handle this situation is very much unknown at current.