Stripe To Reenter Crypto — Could This Make Digital Assets Mainstream?
After three years following the suspension of Bitcoin payments on its platform, payment company Stripe has decided to hire a crypto engineering team. This move highlights the fintech giant’s desire to build the “future of Web3 payments.” This comes on the back of them waiting and watching the market for the right time to make a return. Stripe is a global technology company that builds economic infrastructure for internet users.
Stripe Returns To The Crypto Scene
Stripe was an early supporter of cryptocurrencies after its founding in 2010, becoming the first payment platform to adopt Bitcoin in 2014. However, in January 2018, it announced the suspension of Bitcoin payments. This took full effect in April 2018, with the company citing Bitcoin’s transformation into a tradable asset rather than a means of exchange as its reason for the cancellation.
At the time, the company noted the increase in confirmation time had led to a rise in failed transactions, with fees having grown astronomically to make Bitcoin payments untenable. Despite this, Stripe still retained an active interest in the space, saying they remained optimistic about cryptocurrencies’ long-term potential.
It seems that now is a good time for the firm to renter the space, with the Fintech giant announcing its intention to hire Web 3 engineers and designers to make up its crypto team. The job listing on Stripe’s website currently shows four openings for engineers, with three US-based vacancies for Seattle, San Francisco, and New York, with the last opening being a remote position.
In a late tweet on Tuesday, Stripe’s Co-Founder, John Collison, expressed the company’s excitement with the developments seen in cryptocurrency.
A company Relations team member, Edwin Wee gave insight into Stripe’s outlook on today’s market and its intention to hire a crypto team.
Implications of Stripe’s Renewed Interest
Stripe’s renewed interest in cryptocurrency payments may bring about far-reaching implications in the industry. This move is expected to further the adoption of cryptocurrencies, especially as the company handles billions of dollars in transactions yearly. With a clientele list that includes popular brands like Amazon, Uber, Google, and Zoom, the firm is in a position to make cryptocurrency payments mainstream.
BlockFi’s report on credit/debit card holders’ spending habits might also explain why Stripe now sees an excellent opportunity to reenter the crypto market. Since its Visa-Backed credit card launched three months ago, the crypto asset exchange has reported that an average BlockFi user is on track to spend $30,000 a year. This is 500% more than the $5,000 per year average of Amex, Visa, and Mastercard holders in the USA.
The report further projects the current spending of BlockFi cardholders to be on pace to exceed $2 billion in annualized spending. Compared with the $6.48 trillion in purchase volume recorded by Credit card merchants in 2020, Crypto companies have a vast market to exploit.
With a valuation of $95 billion and a $600 Million cash injection in 2021, Stripe’s reentry may be timed perfectly to make the most of the current market situation.
Growing Interest In Cryptocurrency Payment
Stripe is not the only company looking to embrace crypto payments. Since its exit from the market in 2018, several crypto startups have made moves that have increased the acceptance of payments using crypto assets.
Rivals like PayPal and Square have also made moves of their own to break into the ecosystem. Paypal announced last year that US buyers could trade and hold cryptocurrencies on its platform. It also launched a feature that allows users to check out using cryptocurrencies at Paypal merchants. This further broadens the potential for crypto usage in online payments.
Crypto exchanges are not left out. Binance has partnered with Shopify to facilitate crypto payments, while Coinbase makes payments more accessible to users through its integration with Paypal, Apple Pay, and Google play.
Do you see Stripe’s inroads into crypto payments leading to greater adoption of cryptocurrencies? Let us know in the comments below.