Stripe Adds Paradigm’s Matt Huang to Board in Crypto Push
(Bloomberg) -- Stripe Inc. is pushing deeper into the crypto space with the latest addition to its board.
The most valuable U.S. startup said Friday it added Matt Huang to its board. He’s a former partner at Sequoia Capital and is co-founder and managing partner of Paradigm, an investment firm focused on crypto.
“Matt’s perspective will be especially helpful as Stripe’s recently formed crypto team explores potential avenues for product development work,” Stripe said in a blog post. “Crypto protocols and currencies hold the potential for faster and less-expensive payments for businesses and entrepreneurs around the world, particularly in underserved markets.”
The company has begun assembling a crypto engineering team to chart its expansion into digital assets. The fledgling team will be led by Guillaume Poncin, who oversees engineering at Stripe.
Stripe isn’t the first company to look to cryptocurrencies as a way to lower the cost of payments in emerging markets. Facebook last month rolled out a small pilot of its Novi digital wallet in the U.S. and Guatemala that allows users to instantly send and receive money without fees using a stablecoin from Paxos Trust Co. To send $200 from the U.S. to Guatemala would normally cost $8.43, according to data compiled by the World Bank.
Stripe was last valued at nearly $100 billion after raising $600 million in March from investors including Sequoia and Ireland’s National Treasury Management Agency. Stripe, with headquarters in San Francisco and Dublin, counts Amazon.com Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google as customers.
The company has an uneven history in digital currencies. In 2014, it became the first major payments company to support Bitcoin, but just four years later it reversed course and began winding down support for the digital currency.
“Bitcoin has evolved to become better-suited to being an asset than being a means of exchange,” Stripe said at the time. “We will continue to pay close attention to the ecosystem and to look for opportunities to help our customers by adding support for cryptocurrencies and new distributed protocols in the future.”
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