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BitPay – Abuse of Power and Compromising User’s Privacy?

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BitPay has been receiving strong negative reactions in the crypto community for its decision to implement a controversial decision that they claim has the purpose of protecting bitcoin users.

The company has been accused of using its dominant status on the market to force other wallet providers to support their plans, thus reducing the privacy of the users and damaging the overall use of bitcoin.

BitPay’s Strategy

BitPay, the leading bitcoin payment service provider, is being heavily criticized for a recent change in protocol. The BIP70 Payment protocol has been implemented so far only by a small number of wallets. It is meant to prevent man-in- the – middle attacks by using QR codes. Many critics view the implementation of such protocol as a controversial measure because it will increase the risk of AML/KYC surveillance and monitoring of transactions.It will also creating an infrastructure dependent on public-keys.

Since its creation in May 11 by Tony Gallippi and Stephen Pair, BitPay has been deemed to be the world’s biggest bitcoin payment processor to date. The service provider has been accused of using its position to bully bitcoin wallet developers into backing up their position or being left out of reach for many merchants.

The developers of Samourai, a bitcoin wallet focused on privacy, said on the matter: “Users should stand up to this kind of arrogance and stand up for their privacy. Samourai has already started the process of contacting all vendors we rely on who utilize BitPay as a payment processor and informing them of our intention to switch vendors, as using Bitpay is no longer tolerable or feasible. We hope others join us.”

BIP70 to Be Used Instead of Segwit

The adoption of BIP70 over Segwit has been also criticized by bitcoin core developers. BitPay was already having a lot of public pressure for limiting BTC transaction to $100 minimum and quickly backtracking and stopping all non-US credit cards and it certainly didn’t need any more negative feedback.

The Samourai team also commented that: “We absolutely do not support Bitpay in agressively using their dominant position of market share to bully wallet providers into supporting their business plans or bully users into a system that degrades their privacy and the fungibility of bitcoin as a whole. Bitpay should focus on repairing their image and brand after the cataclysmic failure of the Segwit2x Fork they helped architect, instead of reinforcing their image as an out of touch bully looking to hijack the network for their own gain.”

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