Payments giant Stripe says it is re-entering the crypto market – TechCrunch


In January 2018, Stripe announced that it was ending support for Bitcoin payments in April, claiming that the cryptocurrency had become less useful for payments for a variety of reasons. Asked for comment, Stripe declined to share any additional information or details about its strategy, highlighting only its new public statements and previous blog post.

Now, after years of being on the sidelines, Stripe is re-entering the crypto space.

The company then noted that transaction confirmation times had increased, leading to higher failure rates, and fees had also increased significantly. However, Stripe said he was still “very optimistic” about cryptocurrencies in general and in particular projects like Lightning and others that could allow for faster payments. He also referred to other developments like OmiseGO and said that a number of high potential Ethereum-based projects were also underway.

According to an article by Edwin Wee on the Stripe User Relations team, Stripe is looking for Web3 engineers and designers to flesh out its new crypto team. While Stripe was unwilling to explain their vision, Wee’s post offers a bit more insight into how the company sees the market today.

“Crypto offers the potential for faster and cheaper payments, especially in underserved markets,” he wrote.

“In 2018, we said that Stripe would“ look for opportunities to help our customers by adding crypto support in the future. ”That time has come,” Wee announced.

The team is led by Stripe’s chief engineering officer, Guillaume Poncin, who has also posted information on job vacancies. There are currently four listed roles for crypto engineers in New York, San Francisco, Seattle, and in remote positions, but Stripe doesn’t say how many total employees he’s looking to bring out of the candidate pool.

That said, the crypto payments market has warmed since the release of Stripe in 2018. In addition to the entry of many crypto payment startups into the space and increased acceptance by big brands and retailers, payments giant PayPal has also taken significant steps to embrace crypto in recent months. .

While there is nothing wrong with a $ 95 billion company going back into crypto, it is not clear at this time how important this announcement is in terms of strategy. wider Stripe business.

In November 2020, PayPal announced that it is now possible for all US users to buy, hold and sell cryptocurrencies on its platform. It recently extended this to international markets and its payment app Venmo. More importantly, it launched a feature that would allow U.S. consumers to pay using their cryptocurrency at any PayPal merchant, greatly expanding the potential for using crypto for online payments.

Elsewhere, the cryptocurrency exchange Binance has partnered with e-commerce giant Shopify on crypto payments, while Coinbase has made crypto buying and spending more accessible through integrations with PayPal, Apple Pay, and Google. Pay, as consumer adoption increases.

Stripe, meanwhile, isn’t alone in thinking about the potential of crypto in “underserved” markets. Square announced this summer that it is allocating the remaining $ 25 million of its $ 100 million investment to support minority and underserved communities, including $ 5 million for the benefit of Square, Inc. Bitcoin Endowment.

“From those with no credit history who cannot open bank accounts, to people living in places with limited access to banks, to populations who have historically been discriminated against, Bitcoin can help level the playing field and build a more inclusive future, ”said Square mentioned. Maybe Stripe is okay now.

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