What’s new in crypto payments?

What’s new in crypto payments?

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This week we’re quoting Anna Tutova (CEO at Coinstelegram)

What Tutova said: 

“Despite the bear market, the crypto payment space continues to grow, more companies, organisations and even government bodies start accepting crypto as a payment.” 

What are crypto payments?

Crypto payments can be made using a range of different cryptocurrencies, including (but not limited to) Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin. They’re processed through payment gateways which serve as payment processors for digital currencies, enabling merchants to accept crypto payments and instantly receive fiat currency in exchange.

Crypto payments are becoming more widely accepted – with Zippia reporting that around 15,000 businesses worldwide now accept Bitcoin. 

At LEAP 2023, Tutova spoke about how crypto payments are the next big thing. We asked her if she’s seen any notable development in crypto payments over the months since LEAP – and here’s what she told us. 

The crypto payments space has expanded this year

“The crypto payments space has seen some intriguing developments recently, with Elon Musk's ambitious plans for X (formerly known as Twitter). Musk envisions transforming X into an ‘everything app’ with various functionalities, including a payment hub processor integrated into the social network. 

“To facilitate this, X's payment branch, Twitter Payments LLC, secured a ‘Currency Transmitter’ licence in Rhode Island, allowing them to store, transfer, and exchange digital assets on behalf of users. But it remains uncertain whether X will provide cryptocurrency-related services.

“In August PayPal announced the launch of its stablecoin PayPal USD, and recently it brought PYUSD to Venmo users too. PayPal's stablecoin launch signifies a major endorsement for the crypto realm, highlighting digital currencies' potential and possibly boosting their widespread adoption.

“Visa, a major payment institution, has also made strides in the crypto payments arena by exploring gas fee payments and facilitating direct crypto payments with USD Coin (USDC). They've embraced the Solana network for settlements and initiated pilot programs with merchant acquirers Worldpay and Nuvei, offering clients the option of USDC stablecoin settlement instead of traditional fiat currencies.

“Additionally, e-commerce giant Shopify has integrated Solana Pay into its platform, enabling millions of merchants to accept crypto transactions, starting with USD Coin. Furthermore, Moneygram has unveiled plans for a digital wallet set to launch in early 2024, in collaboration with the Stellar Development Foundation (SDF). This non-custodial wallet will use stablecoins as a conduit for cryptocurrency on and off ramps, as well as for cross-border payments. 

“Moneygram's partnership with SDF, which began in 2021, has already facilitated the use of the USDC stablecoin on the Stellar blockchain for payments and incoming remittances. With the upcoming wallet, it will become even more accessible for individuals to convert and utilise digital assets – marking a significant step in the evolution of cross-border payments and cryptocurrency adoption.

And it doesn’t stop there: more public and private organisations are integrating crypto into their operations

Tutova added that:

  • The Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has enabled customers this month to use PayPal crypto to pay for driver’s licences, vehicle registrations, and other services.
  • The Singapore Red Cross started accepting crypto donations.
  • The fashion brand Ralph Lauren started accepting cryptocurrency payments at the newly opened store in Miami’s Design District.
  • In May Liechtenstein's Prime Minister, Daniel Risch unveiled the government's plans to accept Bitcoin as payment for select government services.
  • In February Brazil’s oldest bank Banco do Brasil enabled residents to pay their taxes using crypto.

Significantly, payment industry titan Mastercard has forged a partnership with leading experts in blockchain tech – “uniting forces to introduce the CBDC Partner Program.” 

And in June 2023, Mastercard unveiled its Multi Token Network (MTN) – “a suite of fundamental capabilities crafted to enhance security, scalability, and interoperability for transactions within digital asset and blockchain ecosystems, with the aim of enabling more streamlined payment and commerce applications.” MTN is currently available in the UK, with plans to expand globally.”

Finally, Tutova said, “More countries started exploring CBDCs – now this number has reached 130 countries, representing 98% of global GDP. A total of 11 nations have successfully introduced their digital currencies, while the European Central Bank is steadily progressing toward the commencement of its digital euro pilot program.”

Want to learn more about crypto payments? Read our full interview with Anna Tutova on the blog. 



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