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Why Shopify is doubling down on crypto—even after the crash

The e-commerce giant is still planning for a future that involves crypto.

Why Shopify is doubling down on crypto—even after the crash
[Source Photo: Getty]

The cryptocurrency market took a heavy tumble in May, with Bitcoin still down some 22% since the beginning of the month. But despite all that, Shopify announced that it was partnering with Crypto.com to allow the more than 2 million businesses using the Shopify platform to accept more forms of cryptocurrency as payment. 

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Shopify was relatively early to the crypto scene: Its customers have had the option to accept payments in cryptocurrency since 2013. The company already had partnerships with Coinbase and BitPay, and in April the company added third-party payment service Strike to the list.

The latest partnership with Crypto.com allows businesses on Shopify to accept more than 20 types of cryptocurrencies as payment, including Bitcoin, Ether, Dogecoin, and Litecoin, as well as stablecoins like TrueUSD and USD Coin. 

Of course, the volatility of the crypto market of late may give some retailers pause about accepting those payments in cryptocurrency. And Shopify’s stock has recently been pummeled—down more than 70% this year—as many large online retailers missed earnings projections. Still, Shopify says it is banking on the future of digital currency.

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“Shopify builds for the long term,” a Shopify spokesperson tells Fast Company. “We’ll always give merchants the tools they need to grow their businesses, including the option to accept cryptocurrency as payment.”

Helping more people shop online with cryptocurrency is a goal that Crypto.com CEO Kris Marszalek set out to reach with the company’s crypto-linked Visa Cards. Crypto.com found itself in a controversy earlier this month after it angered customers by slashing crypto rewards on its Visa Card. After Crypto.com’s token (CRO) fell by 50%, the company reversed that decision.

“Right now, 90% of the revenue in this industry is coming from trading,” Marszalek told GQ. “If three years down the road that’s still the case, then this is a complete industry failure.” 

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Many saw stablecoins as the answer to using cryptocurrency as payment while avoiding volatility. Unfortunately, in the wake of Terra’s UST stablecoin collapsing—and taking most of the crypto market with it—confidence in stablecoins has started to wane.

Marszalek isn’t the only one who wants the world to accept cryptocurrency as payment. Many major companies have begun accepting digital currencies, including Microsoft, PayPal, Whole Foods, Starbucks, Home Depot, Twitch, and AMC.

One notable exception from that list is Amazon, despite owning both Whole Foods and Twitch. Last month, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy told CNBC: “We’re not probably close to adding crypto as a payment mechanism in our retail business, but I do believe over time that you’ll see crypto become bigger.”

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