Crypto’s so-called unsuitability as a form of payment – a charge leveled at the sector by its biggest critics – is increasingly being put to the test, as some of the world’s biggest crypto exchanges wade into the payments sector.
Per a press release shared with Cryptonews.com, the crypto exchange Bitfinex has announced that it is to launch a service named Bitfinex Pay, which it says will allow online merchants to process “contactless and borderless” crypto payments.
The company explained that it had developed a widget for the new service, claiming that it can be “integrated onto a website facilitating online payments.”
The widget will allow merchants’ customers to pay in bitcoin (BTC) (via the Lightning Network also), ethereum (ETH) and the stablecoin tether (USDT) using either the Ethereum or the Tron blockchain protocols.
Merchants will need to hold an exchange wallet on Bitfinex in order to receive payments via the widget.
Meanwhile, last month, fellow crypto exchange giant Binance unveiled a beta for its own Binance Pay service, claiming that it allows its customers “to pay and get paid in crypto from your friends and family worldwide.”
And the firm hinted at its move back in late 2020, a suggestion that its move could be indicative of a wider trend.
Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, the head of Binance, stated,
“Growth in payments was one of the most obvious use cases we hoped to see more of in 2020, but hasn’t taken off as strongly expected … A better strategy may be to latch onto existing fiat payment rails so that they can co-exist.”
Also, the Bitfinex news comes hot on the heels of developments in Japan, where two traditionally non-crypto companies who operate e-pay platforms have sought to tie in their newer crypto exchange and wallet services.
Line, the operator of Line Pay and the Bitmax crypto exchange, allows customers to make crypto-to-fiat deposits in their Line Pay accounts. And the e-commerce and e-pay giant Rakuten has recently begun allowing customers to top up their Rakuten Pay accounts with major cryptoassets including bitcoin and ethereum.
Also, another crypto giant, Coinbase, is offering its own payments card.
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