Stripe is open to accepting crypto for payments (again), Co-founder says

Stripe is open to accepting crypto for payments (again), Co-founder says

By - min read
  • Stripe co-founder John Collison says it’s possible the payments firm could add cryptocurrency as a payment option
  • It’s been three years since the company halted bitcoin payments
  • Collison points out developments in the digital space like Layer 2 protocols as a key to solving one of the main bottlenecks of crypto payments

Stripe, an online payments giant that has seen massive growth in the past few years, stopped accepting crypto payments in 2018 when it ended support for the world’s largest crypto by market cap Bitcoin.

The firm has since not revealed any plans to accept cryptocurrency payments. 

However, there’s no ruling out that a u-turn on crypto won’t happen, according to co-founder John Collison. 

Not yet, but it can happen

On Tuesday, Collison told CNBC at the Fintech Abu Dhabi event in the UAE that the company may not be ready to support digital asset payments. However, that did not mean that it could look at accepting them in the future.

He opined that it wouldn’t be “implausible” for the San Francisco, US, and Dublin, Ireland-based financial services provider to embrace crypto.

He also said that they (at Stripe) don’t look at crypto in terms of its use as a speculative investment instrument, adding that the idea is “not that relevant to what [they] do at Stripe.”

Improved scaling and reduced transaction costs

When it ended its support for BTC payments, Stripe pointed out the issues of wild volatility and the inefficiency that characterised the coin’s use as a currency. Crypto prices fluctuate sharply throughout the day, with declines or upsides triggered by a myriad of factors. 

While the burgeoning industry still faces a few teething problems, especially on the regulatory front, Collison says on-chain developments across several platforms continue to make it better. And chief among these “solutions” have been improvements made towards network scalability and reduction of transaction costs, he added.

According to the Stripe exec, innovations such as Lightning Network and the emergence of highly scalable networks such as Solana (SOL), are just part of what could make use of crypto for payments grow across industries. The benefits of these developments, he explained, are faster, cheaper transactions.