Stripe reboots crypto team after three-year furlough

US payments giant Stripe brings in developers to bring cryptocurrency payments via Web3

Stripe headquarters                                 
Stripe was one of the first mainstream businesses to support the use of digital currencies - Photo: Shutterstock
                                

US payments giant Stripe has announced plans to rebuild its cryptocurrency team, three years after phasing out its Bitcoin support, due to a decrease in demand.

Stripe’s Head of Engineering Guillermo Poncin announced the news via Twitter, stating that the startup is looking to build a team of engineers and developers bringing cryptocurrency payments via Web3 to its platform.

In January 2018, Stripe announced that it would no longer support bitcoin transactions, citing that the cryptocurrency was becoming "less useful for payments."

A company statement said: “Transaction confirmation times have risen substantially; this, in turn, has led to an increase in the failure rate of transactions denominated in fiat currencies. Despite this, we remain very optimistic about cryptocurrencies overall.”

Stripe was one of the first mainstream businesses to support the use of digital currencies when it launched its Bitcoin support platform in 2014. The startup is now valued at closer to $100bn (£72bn) after closing a $600m Series H funding round in March at a $95bn valuation. It has more than 4,000 employees in 14 offices worldwide.

John Collinson, co-founder of Stripe added: "Stripe and crypto have grown up at the same time. We’ve always kept an eye on things (e.g. bitcoin support 2013-2015) but last few years’ developments (L2s, new chains, stablecoins, DeFi) are particularly exciting."

The move from Stripe comes after competitors such as Square and PayPal have expanded their offerings within the crypto space to leverage growing consumer demand. 

A potential IPO might be on the cards for Stripe, as it was recently reported that the business is on a hiring push ahead of a potential IPO in 2022.

Further reading: HSBC chief executive backs central bank digital currencies

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