Stripe, a United States fintech giant that makes it easy for companies from Google to Amazon to get paid, is considering enabling crypto payments once again, the firm’s co-founder John Collison hinted on Tuesday.
The $95 billion company might reenter the crypto space three years after it ended support for bitcoin payments.
Stripe Open To Getting Back Into Crypto Three Years Later
Stripe made headlines back in 2014 when it became the first major online payments firm to accept bitcoin. Four years later, the most valuable U.S. startup decided to phase out the crypto service, citing slow transaction times and high transaction fees.
Fast forward to 2021, Stripe is not ruling out crypto integration in the future. Speaking during a CNBC-moderated panel at the Fintech Abu Dhabi festival, Collison indicated that Stripe is currently not ready to re-enable crypto acceptance, but crypto payments are not out of the question for the company.
The co-founder then noted that crypto is “a lot of different things to a lot of different people”, suggesting that some people utilize it as a store of value or for frenzied speculative trading and others use it for payments. In particular, speculative investments are not something that Collison finds relevant to Stripe’s work.
Still, he believes the crypto industry has demonstrated considerable development today compared to the state of the sector years ago. Developers are doing their best to make cryptocurrencies more scalable and efficient for everyday transactions. He name-checked “Ethereum killer” Solana and Bitcoin’s Lightning Network as some of the innovations that have the potential to fulfill the objective of scalable, low-cost cryptocurrency transactions.
Appealing To The Masses
A $95 billion company dabbling in crypto is good news for investors in the fledgling ecosystem. Stripe’s about-face may be linked to bitcoin’s gargantuan price appreciation this year as it captured the $69,000 level and the hearts of investors around the world. The company’s wider corporate strategy regarding digital assets, however, is still unclear at this point.
That being said, the market for crypto payments has heated up since Stripe’s departure back in 2018. If it indeed brings back crypto payments, it will join fellow fintech companies like Jack Dorsey’s Square and PayPal who are taking advantage of the increasing thirst for crypto payment solutions.
The move to cryptocurrencies by traditional financiers could also be a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, unprecedented money printing by central banks, and a collapse in government trust.