At the beginning of 2018, global payments giant Stripe decided to shutter its cryptocurrency payment offerings. According to the company’s announcement at the time, payments using Bitcoin and other crypto tokens were unreliable, time-consuming, and expensive enough to be unfeasible. Crypto had become a decent tradable asset, Stripe reasoned, but was ultimately impractical as a means of exchange.
Nearing the end of 2021, though, things are beginning to look quite different. Fintech firms around the world are scrambling to help consumers buy and sell with the cryptocurrency in their digital wallets, and national governments are taking on Bitcoin as legal tender. Small wonder that Stripe has decided the moment is right for its reentry into crypto.
As part of its effort to help bring crypto payments to the mainstream, Stripe is hiring a brand-new cryptocurrency engineering team. Citing its mission to bring about the “future of Web3 payments,” Stripe has announced that new crypto-related products and services will be on offer to its customers in the near future.
The company’s newly reclaimed enthusiasm for cryptocurrency carries through to the top levels of Stripe’s administration, with co-founder John Collison describing Stripe’s history as coinciding with the rise of crypto. As Collison tweeted, the “last few years’ developments (L2s, new chains, stablecoins, DeFi) are particularly exciting,” and have inspired this new and timely shift in Stripe’s crypto strategy.