According to co-founder John Collison, Stripe isn’t dismissing the idea of adopting cryptocurrencies as a payment mechanism in the future.
In 2018, the online payments provider stopped accepting bitcoin payments, citing the digital coin’s reputation for erratic price swings and inefficiency in routine transactions.
Collison stated this at a CNBC-moderated panel at the Fintech Abu Dhabi festival on Tuesday. He expressed that crypto implies a lot of different things to a lot of different people.
Collison, however, pointed out there were some aspects to crypto like its use as a speculative investment — that is “not that relevant to what we do at Stripe.”
He also acknowledged that there have been a lot of developments of late to make cryptocurrencies better and, in particular, scalable and acceptable cost as a payment method.
When questioned if Stripe would resume taking cryptocurrency as a form of payment, he said yes. Collison pointed out that the company doesn’t accept crypto yet, however, it is open to accepting crypto payment.
The corporation recently launched a team dedicated to researching crypto and “Web3,” a phrase in the tech world that refers to a new, decentralized internet.
Guillaume Poncin, Stripe’s chief of engineering, is leading the charge. Matt Huang, a co-founder of crypto-focused venture capital firm Paradigm, was recently named to the company’s board of directors.
Collison believes there is a lot of promising digital asset advancements on the horizon, from Solana, a competitor to Ethereum, the world’s second-largest digital currency, to “Layer 2” systems like bitcoin’s Lightning Network, which promise to speed up transactions and reduce transaction costs.
Stripe, which was launched in 2009, has quickly grown to become the largest privately held fintech company in the United States. Baillie Gifford, Sequoia Capital, and Andreessen Horowitz are among the company’s investors. It was last appraised at $95 billion.
The business, which handles payments for Google, Amazon, and Uber, has recently moved into several other financial areas, including loans and tax administration.