uber bitcoin payment

Uber may let riders pay in Bitcoin

The ridesharing giant does not intend to add Bitcoin to its corporate treasury, but its CEO says it is considering letting riders pay their fares in cryptocurrency

Ridesharing market leader Uber won’t buy Bitcoin (BTC) with funds from the corporate reserves like electric car maker Tesla has, but it may start accepting the cryptocurrency for payments.

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told CNBC during an interview published on Feb. 11 that the firm does not plan to follow Tesla’s footsteps in buying Bitcoin with its corporate treasury, but admitted that it would consider accepting cryptocurrencies as payment. As Modern Consensus reported two days ago, Tesla bought $1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin and started accepting it as means of payment.

That’s too bad for those who hoped the ridesharing giant would help power another Bitcoin bull run with its considerable capital. According to data released by Uber, the firm held $5.65 billion in cash and cash equivalents, along with $1.18 billion in short-term investments as of Dec. 31, 2020.  He said that the company has decided it would not buy Bitcoin.

“It’s a conversation that’s happened that has been quickly dismissed,” Khosrowshahi said. “We’re going to keep our cash safe. We’re not in the speculation business. The upside in our company is in the business that we’ve built, not the investments that we invest in.”

On the bright side, Khosrowshahi does not exclude that the company will interact with crypto assets in any way. He explained that the firm is considering accepting Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies as a form of payment for its rideshare and Uber Eats delivery services:

“Just like we accept all kinds of local currency, we are going to look at cryptocurrency and/or Bitcoin in terms of currency to transact. 

Calling the move “good for business,” he added, “That’s good for our riders and our eaters. That we’ll certainly look at and if there’s a benefit there, if there’s a need there, we’ll do it. We’re just not going to do it as part of a promotion.”

While Uber may not yet be fully on board with Bitcoin, plenty of other firms and institutions are. As Modern Consensus reported earlier today, United States’ oldest bank Bank of New York Mellon announced a crypto custody service while Mastercard made its intention to offer consumer-to-merchant transactions using digital assets known to the public.

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Adrian is a newswriter based out of Pisa, Italy. He's passionate about cryptocurrency, digital rights, IT, tech and futurology and likes to think about the future in a positive way.