Coinbase Commerce, a payment gateway from crypto exchange Coinbase that lets merchants accept crypto from customers, will end support for Bitcoin and similar UTXO coins amid a series of changes to the product.

In an X thread on Feb. 18, Lauren Dowling, the firm’s head of product, explained that the new Coinbase Commerce product would enforce the details of each payment on-chain, and support hundreds of cryptocurrencies across Base, Polygon and Ethereum, while automatically converting payments to USDC at a guaranteed rate for merchants. 

“Delivering these same capabilities on the Bitcoin blockchain without smart contracts and stablecoins was challenging & we therefore made the difficult decision to remove native Bitcoin & other UTXO support,” said Dowling on X.

She emphasized that customers would still be able to pay with Bitcoin and other UTXO assets if they had an account with, which would also support payments for the tokens that were on networks that were not yet supported by the payments protocol. 

The news was met with mixed criticism from some users, who questioned the requirement for having a Coinbase account just to make payments.

“That’s like dictating that every customer has to be a Bank of America customer in order for merchants who simply bank with BofA to accept payments,” said one user on X.

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong clarified that the new Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) payment protocol would still support payments from any self-custody wallet, and the changes were implanted around the belief that Layer 2 networks would drive the majority of crypto payments.

“Zooming out – we think paying for stuff online with crypto won’t really go mainstream until we get off layer 1, and reduce transaction fees and confirmation times, so we’re trying to accelerate the move toward that world,” said Armstrong. 

“Hopefully it makes more sense through that lens. It may not be what everyone wants, but this is our current approach that we hope will serve the largest number of customers.”

Last week, Coinbase reported fourth quarter earnings ahead of street estimates, with revenue of $953.8 million, largely driven by an 83% surge in transaction revenue from the previous quarter.