Cryptocurrencies were once a dubious investment asset. Even when Bitcoin’s value skyrocketed in 2017, it was still too good to be true for the skeptics. The novelty of it seemed too risky for many.
Wall Street banks, including JP Morgan Chase, were vocally against this new money. Crypto then was highly unregulated, which made it an easy gateway for scams and other illicit purposes such as money laundering. Warnings were hurled and the public was cautioned against investing.
However, the blockchain industry kept growing. Fast forward to a few years later, traditional payment providers and tech giants like PayPal, Facebook, and Google are adjusting their project pipelines to create crypto-friendly platforms. And the banking industry is trying to catch up.
The race to meet public demands
With the advent of COVID-19, many traditional companies have embraced the need for digital money and digital payment methods. It’s not enough that your business is online—you also need to have an online payment system that accepts most forms of payments.
In 2022, there are a number of establishments worldwide that accept cryptocurrencies for the purchase of goods and services.
Here are some big companies that are fully embracing this demand and adjusting their businesses to accept blockchain technology.
In the fourth quarter of 2020, Paypal announced that it will begin providing the ability to buy, sell, and hold crypto on its platform.
It was a big move. But an even bigger move was providing a powerful crypto wallet for the purchase of goods and services to its 26 million partner merchants worldwide.
Despite the volatility that crypto brings, it saw the asset as more than just for trading and holding.
Cash App (formerly Square)
When Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey stepped down in Q4 of 2021, he shifted his attention to Square, a digital payments platform. Square rebranded itself as Block, a name change that hinted at its ambitions of growing in the blockchain space.
Block’s mobile payments app, dubbed Cash App, is at the helm of creating Lightning Network to significantly speed up crypto transactions in the United States. More importantly, it lets users send and receive payments worldwide with zero fees.
The company also plans to offer Bitcoin mining equipment in the future.
Facebook first showed its stance on cryptocurrencies when it banned all forms of ads on the platform. It was a calculated action resulting from malicious parties using crypto to gain money from the unsuspecting public.
The tides turned as it announced its Libra project – later known as Diem – which launched in June 2019. Diem wanted to launch a stablecoin, which is a type of crypto pegged to a real-world asset such as the US dollar.
However, due to regulatory hurdles and federal government pressure, Facebook dropped the vision and sold Diem to a crypto-focused entity called Silvergate Capital.
Google is beginning to open its doors to blockchain starting with building a team under its cloud services that will focus on blockchain projects.
Some of the initiatives include tackling the blockchain history of crypto, including that of Bitcoin and Ethereum. It also welcomes partnerships with blockchain companies that want to integrate Google’s cloud services into their platforms.
The Alphabet Inc. subsidiary is also exploring avenues to allow users to send and receive crypto in the future.
At the cornerstone of mass adoption
The increase of successful cryptocurrencies like Ethereum (ETH), Polkadot (DOT), and Binance (BNB) paved the way for a certain level of acceptance from the public.
Crypto projects and exchanges became an extension of what traditional financial institutions can offer. You can now use crypto as a form of payment, and trade it, buy it, and sell it. It can also be a means of passive income and its store of value is no longer the laughing stock among traditional investors. Subsequently, the general public has also begun to recognize its value as a hedge against inflation and a means to grow one’s investment portfolio.
We have come to a point in history where financial institutions and businesses can no longer ignore the digital disruption of blockchain technology and the emergence of crypto in the mainstream market.