Almost four years after it dropped support for Bitcoin, payments major Stripe has announced that it is re-entering the space with the establishment of a dedicated cryptocurrency team.
Stripe is remaining quiet about the precise nature of its crypto plans, beyond what can be gleaned from a selection of job adverts it has posted and a brief announcement on social media. However, the adverts do provide some insights about the motives for the move and the range of solutions Stripe plans to introduce.
The company has cited “a growing need” from both developers and users for crypto-based payments, and has outlined plans to develop a crypto-based solution that covers everything from UI to the backend payments and identity systems. Arguably most significantly, it has not mentioned a specific cryptocurrency, but appears to be planning support for a wide range of options or remaining entirely currency agnostic.
Stripe’s history with crypto
This is in contrast to its previous moves in the cryptocurrency space, most notably its acceptance of Bitcoin from 2014 to 2018. When Stripe announced it was ending this, it specifically cited rising transfer times and growing costs – saying that fees associated with Bitcoin now compared to those from banks.
It also follows a brief involvement with Facebook’s planned digital currency Diem, then known as Libra, which Stripe left along with several other major payment companies just a few months after it was initially announced. However, the company did stress that it remained open to working with the social media giant on the project in the future.
From ongoing comments in interviews from Stripe’s founders, it’s clear that Stripe has been watching the space very closely since its previous forays into crypto, which makes the decision to finally launch a dedicated team very significant.
We’ve increasingly seen moves into crypto payments over the last year, and Stripe’s decision is a vote of confidence that digital currencies are a key part of the payments ecosystem that will continue to grow.