Stripe Reintroduces Cryptocurrency Payments with USDC Stablecoin 

Whitney Anderson
Whitney Anderson
Technology Writer
Last updated: May 16, 2024
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Beginning this summer, Stripe will accept cryptocurrency payments again. The first stablecoin that will be accepted is USD Coin (USDC). This decision comes six years after Stripe stopped supporting Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency transactions. According to Stripe, at first the integration will support transactions on the Solana (SOL), Ethereum (ETH), and Polygon (MATIC) blockchains.

The move marks Stripe’s return to the cryptocurrency payment space focusing initially on USDC, which is currently the second-largest stablecoin and ranks sixth in overall cryptocurrency market capitalization. This service will allow businesses using Stripe’s platform to accept USDC for online transactions, opening new payment avenues for companies integrated with the San Francisco-based technology firm.

Payments in crypto are back on Stripe

Stripe is set to reintroduce cryptocurrency payments into its array of services, focusing this time on stablecoins. This announcement came from co-founder and president John Collison during his keynote at Stripe’s Global Internet Economy conference. Collison highlighted the company’s renewed approach to cryptocurrency, aiming to offer a smoother and more reliable payment experience compared to its past endeavors with Bitcoin.

Stripe was integrating Bitcoin payments in 2014, identifying cryptocurrency’s potential in the digital payments market early on. However, by 2018, the company decided to end its Bitcoin support, citing the high volatility of cryptocurrencies and their inefficiency as mediums of exchange due to long transaction times and increasing fees. 

Even though Stripe stopped facilitating direct cryptocurrency transactions, it stayed involved in the growing cryptocurrency space. The financial technology giant briefly joined Facebook’s Libra project in 2019. Libra was a plan for a global digital currency that never got off the ground because of strong opposition from regulators and politicians. After that, in 2021, Stripe started to rebuild its cryptocurrency engineering team, which showed that it was still interested in using crypto technology.

In 2022, Stripe partnered with the social media platform X (formerly Twitter) to facilitate payments for creators in USDC on the Polygon network, demonstrating practical applications of cryptocurrency in digital content monetization.

Collison’s recent statements reflect a positive outlook on the future of cryptocurrencies as practical financial tools. “With transaction speeds increasing and costs coming down, we’re seeing crypto finally making sense as a means of exchange” he said. This marks a significant shift in Stripe’s strategy, emphasizing the potential of cryptocurrencies, particularly stablecoins, to provide a stable and efficient solution for digital payments.

Stripe to accept USDC payments

Stripe is updating its payment system so that merchants can accept USDC, which is a stablecoin, and settle transactions on the blockchain directly. This new feature allows payments made in USDC to be automatically converted into fiat and deposited into the merchant’s Stripe account, simplifying the process for businesses.

Stablecoins are digital currencies whose prices are kept stable by being pegged to assets like the U.S. dollar or gold. This makes them less volatile than other digital currencies like Bitcoin. This stability makes them particularly useful for crypto traders who need to move in and out of trades quickly without converting their holdings into fiat currency directly, which can be challenging in regions with restricted access to such currencies.

Bloomberg reports that Stripe is now worth $65 billion making it one of the biggest payment service providers in the world. It handled over $1 trillion in transactions last year. This move to integrate USDC payments showcases Stripe’s ongoing commitment to adapting its services to meet the evolving needs of modern merchants in the digital economy.

Summary

Starting this summer, Stripe will accept cryptocurrency payments again. At first, it will only allow USDC stablecoin transactions on the Solana, Ethereum, and Polygon blockchains. This move marks Stripe’s re-entry into the crypto payment space after ceasing Bitcoin support in 2018 due to volatility concerns. With a market valuation of $65 billion and handling over $1 trillion in transactions, Stripe’s adoption of stablecoins like USDC aims to offer businesses stable and efficient digital payment options.

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Whitney Anderson
Whitney Anderson
Whitney Anderson is a dynamic technology writer and content creator known for her quick learning and strong interpersonal skills. With a passion for community service and travel, she excels in crafting engaging tech content and leading diverse teams. Whitney is eager to bring her tech expertise and creativity to make a significant impact in your organization.

Why Trust Us

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