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Uber might accept crypto payments ‘at some point’, says CEO

If Uber does jump onto the cryptocurrency bandwagon, it would be joining a number of tech firms including Microsoft, AT&T and Wikipedia

Uber might accept cryptocurrencies as a mode of payment  ‘at some point’, said CEO Dara Khosrowshahi. The cab booking platform has been looking to integrate crypto as a payment option on its platform, however, the company hasn’t disclosed the exact timeline it would take to add crypto as an option. “Is Uber going to accept crypto in the future? Absolutely. At some point,” Khosrowshahi told Bloomberg in an interview.

For Khosrowshahi this “isn’t the right point” to introduce cryptocurrency as a mode of payment. The CEO believes that the cost of cryptocurrency exchanges can carry high transaction fees, and also the environmental impact of cryptocurrency mining are the reasons why Uber hasn’t integrated crypto payments to its platform.

Cryptocurrency mining or crypto mining is the process of introducing a new block in a blockchain, by running a series of complex algorithms that require high power consumption devices such as GPUs. Mining cryptocurrency requires a lot of computing power and hence, a lot of electricity. That kind of energy consumption on the global scale is considered by many to be doing more harm than good. (To know more crypto mining and its ups & downs, check our coloumn and circle back.)

“We’re having conversations all the time, “Khosrowshahi  added, “..and with time as the exchange mechanism becomes less expensive and becomes more environmentally friendly, I think you will see us leaning into crypto a little bit more.”

Earlier in February, Uber told CNBC that that the company is looking at ways to accept cryptocurrencies as a mode of payment. The company even had discussions around buying bitcoin with corporate cash like other companies such as Tesla, however, the idea was “quickly dismissed.”

If Uber does jump onto the cryptocurrency bandwagon, it would be joining a number of tech firms including Microsoft, AT&T and Wikipedia. Most recently, Tesla Inc announced that it will accept meme-based cryptocurrency Dogecoin as payment for its merchandise such as the “Giga Texas” belt buckle and mini models of electric vehicles.

Dara Khosrowshahi became the CEO of Uber in 2017.(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

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