WeWork Will Accept Payment In Bitcoin As Venmo Start Allowing Customers To Trade Crypto
Remember WeWork? The money-incinerating, coworking giant created by megalomaniac Adam “I will live forever, be king of the world and be the first trillionaire“ Neuman and backed by SoftBank, was the first company to demonstrate just how big the asset bubble is when its IPO spectacularly imploded in late 2019, leading to questions about overvaluation, a bitter and acrimonious legal fight between Neuman and his sponsor, Masa Son (whose business acumen were seriously tarnished), and hammered other similarly overvalued stocks for weeks. Well, after a lengthy hiatus, WeWork decided to give going public a second try by merging with a SPAC.
But more apropos, the company whose entire business model is being “hip” with the “disruptive” zeitgeist even if it means burning even more cash, decided to at least try and capitalize on the latest crypto mania, and this morning WeWork announced that “it will begin servicing a new economy” by now accepting payment in select cryptocurrencies, and that in partnership with BitPay and Coinbase, “the company will expand its flexibility by utilizing cryptocurrency for inbound and outbound transactions.”
Through BitPay, a cryptocurrency payment service provider, WeWork will accept Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), USD Coin (USDC), Paxos (PAX), and several other cryptocurrencies as payment for its offerings. WeWork will also hold the currency on its balance sheet. The company will pay landlords and third party partners in cryptocurrencies where applicable through Coinbase, a WeWork member and the largest U.S. cryptocurrency trading platform.
WeWork CEO, Sandeep Mathrani, said “WeWork’s strength is in our ability to evolve and best meet the diverse needs of our members around the world. As our member base continues to grow in the fintech sector, so will our ability to adapt to their needs and service a new economy. WeWork has always been at the forefront of innovative technologies, finding new ways to support our members. It only makes sense for us to expand on the optionality we provide by adding cryptocurrency as an accepted form of payment for our members.”
In addition, Coinbase will be the first WeWork member to use cryptocurrency to pay for its WeWork membership, with the company noting that Coinbase’s decision to pay WeWork in cryptocurrency “demonstrates the growing demand for flexible and easy-to-use payment options.”
Understanding this growing demand for optionality and convenience, WeWork has accelerated its focus on leveraging technology to take flexibility to the next level. In 2020, WeWork digitized its real estate portfolio with the release of its WeWork On Demand and WeWork All Access products, enabling members to choose when, where, and how they work.
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And speaking of optionality, as well as the growing acceptance of crypto, on Tuesday morning PayPal said it would begin allowing select Venmo customer to buy, sell and hold cryptocurrencies as consumers increasingly look for ways to pile into the digital assets. The firm will make it available to all the app’s users, who number more than 70 million, within the next few weeks.
For now, Venmo is allowing customers to trade in just four types of cryptocurrency: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash. Users will also have the ability to share their cryptocurrency purchases on the Venmo feed.
“We do think some customers will certainly want to share this fun experience,” Darrell Esch, senior vice president and general manager of the Venmo app at PayPal, said in an interview. “They can share with their friends and community that they’ve taken the step into this space.”
“We think that the timing is right for this,” Esch said. “Our goal here is to provide customers with a really easy-to-use way to learn about and experience ownership of crypto from a trusted platform.”
PayPal has been adding new features to its PayPal and Venmo apps as the payments giant seeks to become a one-stop shop for consumers’ financial needs. After adding the ability to buy, sell and hold cryptocurrency to its PayPal app, the company saw customers who used the feature begin signing into the app at twice the rate they previously did.
Since Venmo’s customer base skews younger than the traditional PayPal user, the company is planning to debut a series of videos with the new offering to make sure clients are educated about their purchases.
“Crypto is volatile — any crypto you buy can rise and fall in value, sometimes pretty quickly,” according to one such video, titled “Crypto vs. Stock.” “It’s important to tread carefully.”
As Bloomberg adds, there are signs Venmo users are already taking the plunge into cryptocurrency trading after the value of many of the biggest digital currencies soared in recent months. In one survey of 2,200 Venmo users, the company found that almost a third have already started purchasing cryptocurrencies or stocks.
Tue, 04/20/2021 – 08:20