According to public announcements issued on Twitter on Tuesday, payments startup Stripe is forming a new crypto team to assist build out the “future of Web3 payments.” Stripe, which was one of the first companies to accept Bitcoin payments before exiting the industry a few years ago, has been waiting for the proper opportunity to return. However, it is still unclear how those ideas will pan out. Stripe declined to provide any additional information or details regarding its plan when contacted for comment, citing only its new public remarks and a previous blog post.
Stripe said in January 2018 that it would stop supporting Bitcoin payments in April of that year, citing that the cryptocurrency had become less effective for payments for a variety of reasons.
The company noted at the time that transaction confirmation times had increased, resulting in higher failure rates, and that costs had also climbed significantly. Stripe, on the other hand, stated at the time that it was “extremely positive” about cryptocurrencies in general, as well as initiatives like Lightning and others that potentially enable speedier payments. Other advancements, like as OmiseGO, were also mentioned, as well as a number of high-potential Ethereum-based projects in the works. Stripe is reentering the crypto world after years of waiting on the sidelines.
Stripe is searching for Web3 developers and designers to round out its new crypto team, according to a post on Stripe’s user relations team by Edwin Wee. While Stripe declined to clarify its strategy, Wee’s essay sheds some light on how the firm views the market now.
“Crypto has the potential to make payments faster and cheaper, especially in underdeveloped markets,” he stated. “In 2018, we stated that Stripe would ‘look for opportunities to assist our clients in the future by adding crypto support.’ “Now is the moment,” Wee declared. Guillaume Poncin, Stripe’s Head of Engineering, is leading the team and has posted about the job positions. Stripe is hiring crypto engineers in four locations: New York, San Francisco, Seattle, and remotely, but it is not stating how many total staff it is trying to hire from the pool of applications.
While there is nothing wrong with a $95 billion corporation playing with crypto again, it is unclear how significant this statement is in terms of Stripe’s overall corporate strategy at this time. However, since Stripe has left in 2018, the market for crypto payments has exploded. In recent months, payments behemoth PayPal has taken huge measures to embrace crypto, in addition to other crypto payment startups joining the field and greater acceptance by larger brands and retailers.
PayPal stated in November 2020 that all U.S. users could now buy, hold, and sell cryptocurrencies on its platform. It has lately expanded this to include overseas markets as well as its payment app Venmo. More importantly, it introduced a function that allows U.S. customers to pay with cryptocurrencies at any PayPal business, greatly expanding the use of cryptocurrency for online payments. Cryptocurrency exchanges can also be found elsewhere. Coinbase has been making purchasing and spending bitcoin more accessible through interfaces with PayPal, Apple Pay, and Google Pay as consumer usage develops, while Binance has teamed with e-commerce behemoth Shopify on crypto payments.