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Stripe Revives Crypto Payments After 6-Year Hiatus, Starts With USDC

Stripe Revives Crypto Payments After 6-Year Hiatus, Starts With USDC

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Payments company Stripe announces its return to crypto payments after a six-year hiatus, starting with support for USDC stablecoin.

Re-entry Announcement

After being out of the crypto payments game for six years, renowned payments processor Stripe is re-entering the arena, kicking off with the USDC stablecoin.

During a keynote address at Stripe’s Global Internet Economy conference, co-founder and President John Collison declared the company's return to crypto payments. 

Collison highlighted the improved transaction settlements, stating, 

“Transaction settlements are no longer comparable with Christopher Nolan films for length. And transaction costs are no longer comparable with Christopher Nolan films for budget.” 

He emphasized a better experience this time and demonstrated a live transaction on stage.

Initial Crypto Acceptance Through USDC

Stripe will initially accept payments in cryptocurrency, starting with USDC stablecoins. While the first round of payments will be limited to Solana, Ethereum, and Polygon, this marks a significant step as the platform hasn’t accepted crypto payments since 2018. 

In 2022, Stripe, along with Twitter (now X), introduced a program allowing creators on the social platform to receive payments in USDC on Polygon. It also created fiat-to-crypto on-ramps through APIs in collaboration with cryptocurrency exchanges. The company began hosting a fiat-to-crypto on-ramp for U.S. customers, taking on conversion and compliance obligations.

Stripe’s Crypto History

Stripe has a long-standing relationship with crypto. It was the first major payment provider to accept Bitcoin in 2014. However, in 2018, it discontinued its crypto efforts, citing Bitcoin's volatility and high transaction times and fees. Stripe had criticized Bitcoin's lengthy transaction times and growing fees during that time. That year also marked Bitcoin’s first-ever “Crypto winter,” when the token dropped from a high of $19,650 in December 2017 to $3,401 at the end of 2018. 

Stripe took a step toward re-entering the market in 2019 by becoming a co-founder of Facebook’s Libra project, which later evolved into the Diem Association. However, it stepped away from Libra later that year, and the project never materialized. 

Reasons for Choosing USDC

Collison highlighted the stability found in USDC, emphasizing its dollar peg, making it a store of value. He pointed out its reliability, stating, 

“You don’t see it in the U.S. You have a very good currency.” 

Collison illustrated this point by displaying a chart comparing stablecoin usage to the volume of Turkish lira traded across crypto exchanges. 

Currently, Stripe is valued at $65 billion, according to Bloomberg, and remains one of the world's largest payment providers, with over $1 trillion in transactions in 2023. Its re-entry into the crypto payment space, starting with USDC, reflects the growing acceptance and stability of cryptocurrencies in mainstream financial operations.

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice. 

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