Stripe Inc., a payment company, plans to provide customers access to Bitcoin four years after suspending support for the cryptocurrency. Stripe has teamed up with crypto startup OpenNode to enable its customers to acknowledge Bitcoin payments through a new app, the companies declared on Tuesday.
Stripe customers will be able to convert incoming payments and any amount of their balance into Bitcoin using this app. The service will be the stake of a public beta of a new apps marketplace from Stripe scheduled to establish in the next few weeks.
OpenNode uses Lighting Network, which focuses on making crypto transactions faster and cheaper to settle payments. The OpenNode app is another move forward into the crypto space for Stripe, which declared a durable coin payments option through its Stripe Connect service for creators on Twitter in April. Stripe rekindled its push into crypto after rivals such as Block Inc., PayPal Holdings Inc., and Checkout.com made headway in the industry.
The company began recruiting crypto talent last year and, in March, said it was benefiting digital asset exchanges FTX and Blockchain.com with online payments and customer verification.
The partnership with OpenNode, which specializes in Bitcoin and has raised $20 million at a $220-million valuation in February, shows Stripe’s renewed interest in Bitcoin, the world’s most widely held digital currency.
While Stripe had been an early adopter of Bitcoin payments, the company ended support for cryptocurrency in 2018, citing slow transaction times, rising fees, and a lack of interest from customers as reasons for the decision.
As per Bloomberg, Stripe’s revitalized Bitcoin support has the potential to broaden the usage of the cryptocurrency among its millions of customers. In addition, the company’s embrace of Bitcoin is seen as a positive development for crypto enthusiasts as digital currency prices fall following the collapse of the TerraUSD stable coin.