Earlier this year, Twitch, an Amazon-owned popular video game streaming service, silently removed users’ ability to make subscriptions with Bitcoin.
From Blockonomi’s glance of the Twitch subscription portal, BitPay was not a listed payment option, nor was Coinbase Commerce (the firm’s online merchant portal) or direct Bitcoin payments, Twitch claimed to have added at the peak of the previous rally. Just as quick as the platform removed this feature, this payment option has seemingly been re-added.
Twitch Supports Bitcoin… Again
First spotted by a user of the Reddit sub-forum known as “Cryptocurrency”, Twitch allows users to contribute to their favorite content creators with Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash yet again. Per the user’s experience using this feature, the acceptance of Bitcoin is being completed through BitPay, an industry leading cryptocurrency payments solution based it Atlanta.
The Twitch user who made this finding is based in Canada. And due to the fact that the streaming service has not issued a press comment on the matter, it is unclear whether or not this payment method is available outside of that country.
Twitch’s sudden reacceptance of the leading cryptocurrency and its estranged cousin, Bitcoin Cash, may have something to do with a recent partnership. For those who missed the memo, earlier this year at Consensus, cryptocurrency upstart Flexa unveiled Spedn.
A play on “HODL”, an industry inside joke, Spedn is a solution that allows users to spend Bitcoin, Ethereum, Gemini Dollars, and Bitcoin Cash in certain partner chains. These partners include Nordstrom, Gamestop, Crate & Barrel, Bed Bath & Beyond, Lowe’s, and arguably most importantly, the Amazon-owned Whole Foods.
Considering the corporate relationship between Whole Foods and Twitch, the re-addition of Bitcoin into the latter platform may have been an easy decision. Still, many are hoping that to retain continuity, Amazon itself will eventually add support for Bitcoin on its online supermarket.
Hopeful postulation aside, Twitch’s acceptance of Bitcoin adds to the sentiment that once again, cryptocurrency is going mainstream. Over the past few months, a number of well-known names in technology and retail have, like Twitch, begun to accept Bitcoin.
Electronics distributor Avnet, privacy-centric browser Tor, and telecommunications giant AT&T are among these names.
Prominent blockchain researcher Willy Woo claims that such cases of adoption should be a positive growth catalyst for Bitcoin:
“Everyone keeps debating why accept BTC as a currency. TLDR; ‘who cares, it’s the marketing exposure it generates.’ It adds to the Bitcoin SoV borg effect.”
Blockchain Gaming, the Next Big Thing
Twitch’s latest bout of support for Bitcoin confirms the overlap between the gaming community and the cryptocurrency community. Thus, it should come as no surprise that according to a recent report French business outlet Les Echos, Ubisoft, a video game developer behind Rainbow Six, Far Cry, Just Dance, and other classics, has had a “dedicated team” for blockchain applications in gaming for a number of months.
The team’s primary idea is purportedly looking to make items, like digital cosmetics or weapons, accessible through a blockchain system. No specific titles were mentioned, but it’s presumed that the Ubisoft team intends to facilitate cross-game item transfers.
The French company purportedly has plans to use the Ethereum blockchain for this program. It is unclear if the network could handle Ubisoft’s user base, however, potentially implying that the company is looking to build a second-layer solution to make its integration work.