The Adyen logo is displayed on a smartphone.
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LONDON – Adyen, the European fintech giant that processes payments for Facebook, Netflix and Uber, is not convinced that Bitcoin can be used as a popular payment method.
Pieter van der Does, CEO and co-founder of the company, told CNBC that the volatility of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies makes them less attractive for transactions. He added that his company has no interest in adding crypto as a payment method.
“Bitcoin is more of a fixed asset than a payment method,” Van der Does said in an interview on Wednesday.
“We are interested in payment methods that are used,” he added. “I wonder if the tremendous performance of Bitcoin as a payment method is helping.”
Tesla announced earlier this week that it had made a $ 1.5 billion investment in Bitcoin. This sparked speculation as to whether other companies would follow suit. Elon Musk’s electric car company said in a motion filed on Monday that it would also accept payments in Bitcoin in exchange for their products.
Meanwhile, Mastercard announced on Wednesday that it plans to offer support for some cryptocurrencies on its network this year.
When asked if Adyen could do the same, Van der Does not urged his company’s merchants to add crypto payment capabilities to the platform.
“It couldn’t really help cryptocurrencies if they are more like a fixed asset than a currency,” he said. “That makes it less interesting for a retailer – to have potential (as a means of payment) you need a stable currency.”
Adyen once let its customers accept Bitcoin as a payment option, but no longer supports the cryptocurrency.
Cryptocurrencies are known to be extremely volatile since their existence. Bitcoin alone has gone through various boom and bust cycles, the most recent of which rose to $ 20,000 in 2017, before losing more than 80% in value the following year.
Bitcoin has made a strong comeback recently, climbing over $ 40,000 to hit record highs on news of Tesla’s use of corporate money to buy Bitcoin.
Proponents of Bitcoin say it has benefited from an increase in institutional investment. Larger investors are trying to diversify their portfolios and see the digital coin as a potential store of value similar to gold, according to the bulls. Meanwhile, skeptics fear that Bitcoin could be one of the largest market bubbles in history.
Still, Bitcoin has not yet proven itself as a popular payment method. The Bitcoin network has a scalability problem, which means that its transaction processing capacity is much more limited than that of a large network like Visa. However, there are efforts to increase the use of Bitcoin in payments.
PayPal hopes to give its large network of merchants the ability to accept Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as payment, while projects such as the so-called Lightning Network aim to shorten Bitcoin transaction times.
Adyen’s platform was founded in 2006 and enables merchants to accept online and POS payments. The Dutch company debuted on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange in 2018 and has more than doubled its share price since February last year as e-commerce volume rose during the coronavirus pandemic. Adyen competes with US companies such as Stripe and the British start-up Checkout.com.
Adyen’s shares hit record highs on Wednesday after the company posted an annual profit that exceeded expectations. The company said its business proved “resilient” in the second half of 2020 and saw significant growth in North America.