Payment service Stripe is bringing back crypto in the form of stablecoin payments, co-founder and president John Collison has announced. The new service will be available this summer, he said.

“Crypto is finally making sense as a means of exchange,” Collison told the audience at the company’s developers conference in San Francisco on April 25. Since Stripe discontinued its Bitcoin (BTC) payment option in 2018, transaction times have increased, fees have decreased and stablecoins are performing stably.

Source: John Collison

“If we’re in a crypto winter post 2021, nobody told the stablecoins,” Collison said, referring to a chart of stablecoin value transferred. Therefore:

“We’re bringing back crypto as a way to accept payments, but this time with a much better experience with stablecoins.”

Collison proved his point by carrying out a transaction on stage. Stripe will offer payment services using USD Coin (USDC) on the Solana, Ethereum and Polygon blockchains.

Besides the stability Collison has found in USDC, its dollar peg makes it a store of value. “You don’t see it in the U.S. You have a very good currency,” said Collison, before displaying a chart of stablecoin use versus the volume of Turkish lira traded across crypto exchanges.

Stripe president John Collison speaking in San Francisco on April 25. Source: YouTube

Stripe was the first major payment provider to adopt Bitcoin in 2014. “At the time, Bitcoin was a pretty terrible payment method,” Collison said, explaining its discontinuation four years later.

Stripe did not entirely turn its back on crypto, however. It was one of the participants in Facebook’s ill-fated Libra project, before backing out under pressure from United States politicians. It began rebuilding its crypto engineering team in 2021.

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Stripe is the payment processor for payouts on X. In 2022, Stripe and X (then Twitter) introduced a program to allow creators on the social platform to receive payment in USDC on Polygon. After that, it created fiat-to-crypto on-ramps via application programming interfaces (APIs) in conjunction with cryptocurrency exchanges.

It began hosting a fiat-to-crypto on-ramp for U.S. customers, taking on conversion and compliance obligations such as Know Your Customer and fraud prevention. It was following the examples of Venmo and Robinhood with this move.

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