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Stripe reintroduces crypto as a payments option

In this post:

  • Stripe reintroduces cryptocurrency payments, starting with USDC stablecoins on Solana, Ethereum, and Polygon.
  • This marks Stripe’s re-entry into crypto since ceasing Bitcoin transactions in 2018 due to instability issues.
  • Announcement made by Stripe’s president, John Collison, at the Connect developer conference in San Francisco.

Stripe has officially restarted its cryptocurrency payment options. Kicking off this new chapter, the company is now accepting USDC stablecoins, with support currently limited to Solana, Ethereum, and Polygon networks. This development is a big change since 2018 when the tech giant stepped back from Bitcoin transactions, attributing the decision to the cryptocurrency’s instability.

A Strategic Expansion in Crypto Capabilities

Last year, Stripe began tiptoeing back into the crypto industry by facilitating payouts in USDC, though it steered clear of accepting crypto payments directly. Notably, Twitter was spotlighted as a primary client for this payout service. The latest announcement, however, doesn’t highlight any specific customer engagements.

The news broke during Stripe’s Connect developer conference in San Francisco, led by co-founder and president John Collison. Collison delivered a punchline about the efficiency improvements, saying, “Transaction settlements and costs are no longer on par with Christopher Nolan movie lengths or budgets.” His remarks emphasized that the return to accepting crypto is aimed at providing a substantially improved user experience through the use of stablecoins.

Moreover, Stripe used the occasion to introduce several other innovations, including for the first time, the ability for clients to integrate alternative payment providers within Stripe’s suite of financial tools. This move is part of a broader strategy to diversify the company’s offerings and break down the ‘walled garden’ approach it has taken in the past.

On the Crypto Terrain

Stripe’s engagement with cryptocurrency has been a careful one.

Despite its rapid growth and processing over $1 trillion in transactions last year, the company remains cautious. It acknowledges the disruptive potential of blockchain technologies but is wary of jeopardizing its established image as a reliable financial behemoth by overly indulging in the volatile crypto market.

At the Global Internet Economy conference, also held this Thursday, John Collison touched on Stripe’s long history with cryptocurrencies, recalling the discontinued Bitcoin support which ceased due to lack of use. “We’re thrilled to be diving back into crypto, this time around with a focus on utility and efficiency,” he commented during his keynote speech titled ‘The Future of Payments’.

Crypto, according to Collison, is finding its place as a viable medium of exchange, thanks to faster transaction speeds and reduced costs. He hinted that this renewed approach to crypto payments is expected to roll out later this summer.

While Stripe has not made major crypto-focused announcements recently, last year’s developments included the introduction of a fiat-to-crypto onramp, catering to Web3 companies. This tool allows these companies to customize their branding and customer interactions, while a Stripe-hosted version simplifies user access to cryptocurrencies.

Collison, in a discussion with Axios last spring, mentioned seeing potential in crypto despite the previous setbacks and tepid demand for early products. He reiterated the company’s interest in exploring how cryptocurrencies could influence future financial technologies and services.

Disclaimer: The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decision.

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