The growing use of cryptocurrencies for payments is beginning to draw industry attention - across crypto and even tech. With more people willing to use the coins for payments, companies in the traditional payments space have quickly adopted them.
The latest in the line of payment companies opening their doors to crypto is one other than Stripe - one of the storied payment processors in Silicon Valley.
All-Round Support Coming From Stripe
This month, Stripe announced that it had opened its application program interface (API) to businesses, enabling them to accept payments in cryptocurrencies. The announcement added that customers would also be able to use Stripe’s API to build digital wallets, pay their users in fiat, and process crypto transactions.
In a statement, the payment processing giant explained that businesses would also be able to leverage its infrastructure to harness know-your-customer (KYC) tools and block customers who might engage in illicit cryptocurrency transactions. This will help companies stay on the right side of regulations and engage crypto in the most legal manner.
The development is part of a partnership between Stripe and several top crypto companies - including FTX, Blockchain.com, FTX.US, Nifty Gateway, and Just Business. All companies partnered to create a business suite that, as Strip explains, will harness the power of digital assets and Web3 developments to scale and improve their payments infrastructure.
Speaking on the partnership Tristan Yver, the head of strategy at FTX, explained that they are looking to target a more mainstream audience by making it much easier for anyone to buy cryptocurrencies and use them to make transactions.
“The optimizations we made in our payments setup with Stripe deliver the smooth on-ramp experience FTX’s growing customer base demands. We’re able to multiply revenue by making it easier than ever for people to invest in crypto,” Yver added.
The move also sees Stripe launch an open NFT collectible drop. The collectibles, titled “Cub Thingies,” will be launched on Nifty Gateway. They will cost between $242.42 and $424.24 to mint, and all proceeds will go to Watsi - a healthcare technology organization.
Payment Companies On Notice
Stripe’s acceptance of digital assets is a major move, and it underscores what appears to be a broader one for the payments space.
In February, Apple announced that it would launch Tap to Pay for the iPhone, essentially turning the devices into point-of-sale channels for businesses and merchants. As Apple explained, the Tap to Pay will allow iPhone-owning merchants to get contactless payments by using their mobile devices as point-of-sale machines.
The feature will use near-field communication (NFC) technology. It is expected to be extended to Apple Pay itself and contactless credit and debit cards and other digital wallets.
With support for all digital wallets, Apple appears to be building something for crypto as well. Unless the company outrightly bans customers, crypto lovers with the Coinbase Card - or the Crypto.com Card, or any other crypto-processing card platform - will be able to make payments using Tap to Pay.
Apple has announced that Stripe - an Irish-American fintech platform (and not the same payment processor mentioned above) will be the first platform to offer Tap to Pay on the iPhone. Additional payment platforms are expected to come later in the year.
Then, there’s PayPal. The company has already established itself as the leader in online payments, and it is booking to crypto to help solidify its palace. After launching support for digital assets in 2020, PayPal is now pushing for the launch of its very own stablecoin.
PayPal announced plans to launch a stablecoin in January. Last month, the company formed an advisory council for its stablecoin. The company's Blockchain, Crypto, and Digital Currencies advisory council will incur members such as Fortress Investment Group co-CEO Peter Briger, Georgetown University Law Center professor Chris Brummer, Weizmann Institute of Science professor Shafi Goldwasser, former Commodity Futures Trading Commission chair Timothy Massad, among others.
Jose Fernandez da Ponte, PayPal’s senior vice president and general manager for Blockchain, Crypto, and Digital Currencies, explained that the company believes it is important to engage with industry leaders in order to understand the complex needs of the global payment system. All advisory council members have extensive experience in different areas - from business and regulation to policy and technology.