The massive growth in e-commerce and the Internet have spawned various new online payment and money transaction methods in the last few years. As a result, digital assets like cryptocurrencies are slowly becoming mainstream in the payments world.
At present, several companies across various industries, from tech giants to food chains, have started embracing cryptocurrencies, allowing customers to use them as an official payment method for their goods and services.
Crypto payment on cards
Following the footsteps of Tesla, Microsoft, PayPal, Amazon, and others, WeWork, the New York-based flexible space provider, has announced that it would begin accepting payments in select cryptocurrencies.
As a part of this development, the company has partnered with BitPay and Coinbase to expand its flexibility by utilising cryptocurrency for inbound and outbound transactions.
WeWork CEO, Sandeep Mathrani, says: “WeWork’s strength is in our ability to evolve and best meet the diverse needs of our members around the world. As our member base continues to grow in the fintech sector, so will our ability to adapt to their needs and service a new economy. WeWork has always been at the forefront of innovative technologies, finding new ways to support our members. 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.”
Based out of Atlanta, BitPay provides enterprise-grade bitcoin payment solutions for businesses and organisations. On the other hand, Coinbase is an online platform that allows merchants, consumers, and traders to transact with digital currency.
Plans to pay in cryptocurrencies
Through BitPay, WeWork will accept Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), USD Coin (USDC), Paxos (PAX), and several other cryptocurrencies as payment for several of its offerings.
CEO of BitPay, Stephen Pair, says: “BitPay believes crypto is the future of fintech and payments, and our goal is to transform how businesses and people send, receive, and store money. 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.”
Further, the company will also hold the currency on its balance sheet. The US company says it will pay landlords and third-party partners in cryptocurrencies where applicable through Coinbase.
Digitising real estate
Notably, Coinbase becomes the first member company to pay in cryptocurrency. In 2020, the company digitised its real estate portfolio with the release of its WeWork On Demand and WeWork All Access products, enabling members to choose when, where, and how they work.
WeWork On Demand is a new offering that allows individuals pay-as-you-go access to clean and convenient workspace for only $29 (€24) per day (or meeting rooms starting at $10 (€8) per hour).
WeWork All Access membership enables members to work at WeWork spaces closer to their business activities or home. Also, members can enjoy a wide array of benefits, including flexible workspace, private phone booths, unique common areas, and other business amenities.
Last month, the New York-based company agreed to go public through a merger with a blank-check company – BowX Acquisition Corp.
The transaction values the company at an initial enterprise value of approximately $9B (approx €7.5B). The transaction will provide flexible space provider with approximately $1.3B (approx €1.08B) of cash, which will enable the company to fund its growth plans into the future.
WeWork Chairman and Softbank Group International CEO Marcelo Claure says: “When we think about the workplace of the future and business, we have to consider cryptocurrency a central part of that conversation. Cryptocurrency helps build a stronger global economy, and WeWork’s announcement demonstrates the company’s commitment not only to innovation but also to being a globally-focused business. WeWork’s ability to provide members with an additional convenient means of payment is hugely exciting. I am very pleased that WeWork is taking steps to recognise the value this technology can provide our current and future members.”