Coinbase’s Retail Payments Wing Crosses $200M in Transactions

Virus or not, people are still paying for goods in bitcoin (BTC).

That’s the verdict from new numbers out of Coinbase’s retailer payment portal Coinbase Commerce, which on Thursday passed a milestone in its two-year history: $200 million in total transactions processed. 

That comes from a massive network: 8,000 integrated retailers now accept cryptocurrencies alongside their other payment streams. It’s a bright spot for adoption in an otherwise topsy-turvy time for bitcoin and cryptocurrency at large, which, like so much of the world, has been struggling to price in COVID-19. 

Not so for merchant crypto payments, though. Commerce product lead John Zettler told CoinDesk the team hasn’t seen any change in activity over March.  

Money comes more often than not in bitcoin, Zettler said. He did not provide an exact crypto-by-crypto usage breakdown, but noted bitcoin is far and away customers’ method of choice.

“Merchant customers often tell us it’s the crypto they’re most familiar with and the one they trust the most,” he said. 

Even so, Coinbase is seeing a surge in the use of stablecoins for payment, particularly its own dollar-pegged USD Coin (USDC). USDC leads the growth pack, Zettler said. He expected to see “material growth” in stablecoin use across Q2 and Q3.  

Coinbase plans to keep building out Commerce’s features in response to merchant demands, Zettler said. Most recently it debuted a “refunds” service, calling it the “next step” in normalizing crypto e-commerce. Crypto still has a long way to go. It remains a minuscule payment method within the hulking global e-commerce marketplace that totaled $3.5 trillion in sales in 2019.

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