Stripe teams up with Twitter to test crypto payouts

22 Apr 2022

Artist’s impression of a USDC stablecoin. Image: © Jim/Stock.adobe.com

Twitter creators will be the first to get paid in USDC stablecoin using Stripe’s newest crypto services.

Stripe Connect, the online payments platform from the Irish-founded fintech, is enabling crypto payouts.

Clients can currently use Stripe Connect to programmatically send payouts in local currencies in more than 70 countries.

Future Human

From today, these payouts will now be enabled for cryptocurrency – but only for a select group of creators on Twitter, for now.

For the Twitter pilot, Stripe Connect will support payouts in USDC, a stablecoin pegged to the US dollar.

The payouts will take place over the Polygon network, which was chosen for its “low fees, speed, integration with Ethereum, and broad wallet compatibility”, according to Karan Sharma, Stripe’s crypto product manager.

Twitter has been selected as Stripe’s first partner for crypto payouts. The social media platform already uses Stripe Connect to pay creators their earnings from its monetisation options, such as ticketed virtual events hosted on Spaces and the Super Follows subscription programme.

These creators will now be able to receive payments to a cryptocurrency wallet. They can keep that cryptocurrency as USDC on Polygon, or choose to bridge to Ethereum and exchange it into another currency.

“Stripe will handle all crypto-related complexity and operations,” Sharma explained. “No code changes are required, and platforms can avoid taking on the challenges of acquiring, storing or transferring crypto themselves.”

Twitter’s product lead for creators, Esther Crawford, said this offering will give Twitter’s power users “more choice in how they get paid”.

For Stripe, it’s a move towards greater financial inclusion.

“This will enable many people who wouldn’t otherwise be able to hold dollars to do so,” said Sharma.

“While we are continuously expanding our geographic coverage, many countries remain out of reach in part due to the intrinsic complexity involved in supporting heterogeneous local payments systems. Unfortunately, this makes participation in the online economy harder for many of those who stand to benefit most.”

Stripe plans to add support for additional crypto services and currencies in the future.

By the end of the year, it expects Stripe Connect will support crypto payouts in more than 120 countries.

The payments company founded by Ireland’s Collison brothers first dipped its toes in cryptocurrency with bitcoin transactions in 2015. It later dropped support for bitcoin due to its volatility and lengthy transaction times.

Last month, however, Stripe returned to the crypto craze after a four-year hiatus, announcing a partnership with global cryptocurrency exchange FTX to make crypto investments “easier than ever”.

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Elaine Burke is the editor of Silicon Republic

editorial@siliconrepublic.com