WeWork to accept cryptocurrencies as a mode of payment

The company has partnered with US-based BitPay and Coinbase to boost its presence in digital assets

A WeWork logo on offices, left, beside the mBank SA headquarters in Warsaw, Poland, on Tuesday, April 6, 2021. Poland's Central Bank’s Monetary Policy Council meets on Wednesday to set policy after the economy was hit with new restrictions in March to stop the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic. Photographer: Lukasz Sokol/Bloomberg

Office-sharing start-up WeWork will accept select cryptocurrencies for payments, the company said on Tuesday.

New York-based WeWork, co-founded by Adam Neumann and backed by SoftBank, will accept digital currencies as a mode of payment for both inbound and outbound transactions. It has partnered with crypto payment service provider BitPay and Coinbase, which operates a cryptocurrency exchange platform.

WeWork will accept "Bitcoin, Ethereum, USD Coin, Paxos and several other cryptocurrencies" through BitPay as payment for its offerings, it said in a statement.

“WeWork will also hold the currency on its balance sheet. The company will pay landlords and third party partners in cryptocurrencies where applicable through Coinbase,” the company said.

Coinbase will be the first WeWork member to use cryptocurrencies to pay for its membership.

“WeWork has always been at the forefront of innovative technologies, finding new ways to support our members,” the company’s chief executive Sandeep Mathrani said.

“It only makes sense for us to expand on the optionality we provide by adding cryptocurrency as an accepted form of payment for our members,” he added.

Customers wanting to pay using Bitcoin first transfer their digital assets from their wallets to a third-party cryptocurrency payment processor. It would then convert the digital asset into a fiat currency, such as dollars or dirhams, and transfer the final amount to the beneficiary’s account. Currently, telecom company AT&T and technology company Microsoft accept Bitcoin through a third-party payment service provider such as BitPay.

“WeWork is giving their customers an innovative payment option that is cheaper and easier than credit cards and taps a community valued at over $2 trillion,” Stephen Pair, chief executive of BitPay, said.

Mainstream companies are increasingly accepting cryptocurrencies as payments as Bitcoin's value surges.

Last month, the world's biggest electric vehicle company Tesla started accepting Bitcoin, the biggest cryptocurrency, as payment for its cars.

FinTech company PayPal is also offering its US customers an option to use digital currencies to pay for purchases at online merchants. It also created a dedicated business unit to focus solely on blockchain and crypto.

Global payments company Mastercard is reportedly planning to offer support for some cryptocurrencies on its network this year.

Meanwhile, the US-based food and beverage company Pepsi is also discussing options to buy Bitcoin.

Ride-hailing company Uber's chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi said the company will accept Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as a form of payment if it benefits the business.

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