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Stripe is ready to accept crypto for payments again

John Collison, President and Co-Founder of Stripe, attends the Viva Tech 2018 conference in Paris.

Christophe Morin | IP3 | Getty Images

Stripe is not ruling out accepting cryptocurrency as a payment method in the future, according to co-founder John Collison.

The online payment company ended support for bitcoin payments in 2018, citing the digital coin’s notoriety for volatile price swings and a lack of efficiency in day-to-day transactions.

“Crypto obviously means a lot of different things to a lot of different people,” Collison said during a panel moderated by CNBC at Fintech Abu Dhabi Festival on Tuesday.

Collison said some aspects of crypto – such as its use as a speculative investment – are “not so relevant to what we do at Stripe.”

But, he added: “There has been a lot of development lately with the aim of improving cryptocurrencies and, in particular, scalable and acceptable cost as a payment method.”

When asked if Stripe would resume accepting crypto as a payment method, Collison said, “We are not doing that yet, but I think it is not unlikely that we will.”

The company recently formed a team dedicated to exploring cryptography and “Web3,” a tech buzzword that refers to a new decentralized version of the Internet.

The effort is directed by Guillaume Poncin, Chief Engineering Officer of Stripe. Earlier this month, the company appointed Matt Huang, co-founder of crypto-focused venture capital firm Paradigm, to its board of directors.

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Collison said there are a number of emerging innovations in digital assets that have potential, including solana – a competitor of ethereum, the world’s second digital currency – to “layer 2” systems like the network. Bitcoin Lightning, which aim to speed up transactions and process them at a lower cost.

Founded in 2009, Stripe quickly grew to become the largest privately held fintech company in the United States. The latter company was valued at $ 95 billion and counts among its investors Baillie Gifford, Sequoia Capital and Andreessen Horowitz.

The company, which processes payments for Google, Amazon and Uber, has recently expanded into a number of other areas of finance, including lending and tax management.

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