A pension fund in the United States has added both Bitcoin and Ether to its portfolio. This marks the first-ever cryptocurrency investment by a US public pension plan, further highlighting institutional demand for crypto exposure. Firefighter Pension Partners With NAYDIG According to a press release from Newswire, the Houston Firefighters' Relief and Retirement Fund (HFRRF) announced their investment this morning. NAYDIG – a Fintech service provider for banks, corporations, and institutions – facilitated the purchase on the fund’s behalf. It…
Stripe has announced its return to the crypto market. However, the online payments company did not elaborate on the topic. Instead, it only tweeted a short message revealing its plans to build the “future of Web3 payments.”
Apparently, a team of engineers and designers will work on the company’s ambitious project. And, that’s all we know so far. Below, we discuss Stripe’s progress and whether it has what it takes to spearhead the Web3 movement.
When Stripe Exited Crypto
In 2018, Stripe skeptically renounced Bitcoin payments and transactions. At that time, the company did not consider the crypto market valuable for long-term investments. Furthermore, many users reported systemic failures in Stripe’s mechanisms.
For instance, some had to struggle with long waiting times. On the other hand, others saw their payments failing constantly. Above all, Stripe’s fees surged so high that BTC transactions became completely inefficient for most users.
Stripe’s user relations team, Edwin Wee, talked about the company’s decision to exit crypto then:
“In 2018, we said that Stripe would look for opportunities to help our customers by adding support for crypto in the future. That time has come.”
Therefore, Stripe waited until the technological advent enabled crypto payments to be faster and more cost-effective. The company is now facing stiff competition from other payment processors. For example, PayPal has included crypto in its services. Lastly, several startups have popped up in the industry since 2018.
The Company’s Rise to Popularity
The company may have exited crypto briefly, but it didn’t leave the public spotlight. In the meantime, Stripe’s transaction volume increased substantially, amounting to $250 billion in 2019. Additionally, it reported a 50% increase in 2020.
Lastly, over 1.9 million live websites accept Stripe as payment. As a result, the company accounts for over 18% market share in the payment processing industry.
Stripe’s increasing popularity is due to its services, which reach those without access to traditional banking facilities.
Stripe is already available in 43 countries and expanding in the European market with a $95 billion investment. Recently, the company invested in 17 new countries worldwide, including Denmark and Poland.
Users want more crypto payment options. The IT consulting firm Capgemin’s report shows that 45% of digital users plan to make cryptocurrency payments in the next two years. Still, they consider this option as an “emerging payment method.”
The road ahead is long, but 35% of people face increasing difficulties with the traditional methods, especially cross-border payments.
So, Can Stripe Build the Future of Web3 Payments?
The future of cryptocurrencies is difficult to predict today. Nevertheless, the industry has come a long way since its inception in 2010. And so has Stripe, which shares the same birth year with Bitcoin. Therefore, it seems like the ideal time to re-enter the crypto sphere and bet on the success of cryptocurrencies.
After Bitcoin became legal tender in El Salvador, many hope now that other countries will follow suit. And, Stripe wants to have its web3 payments services up and running when that finally happens.