SoftBank-backed WeWork to begin accepting payments in cryptocurrencies


FILE PHOTO: A man walks out of a WeWork space in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., October 4, 2019. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

(Reuters) - SoftBank-backed office-sharing startup WeWork said on Tuesday it would begin accepting payments in select cryptocurrencies and partner with Coinbase Global Inc and payment app Bitpay to facilitate transactions.

WeWork joins a clutch of high-profile firms that have dived into the digital currency space recently, including Tesla Inc, Visa Inc, Bank of NY Mellon, prompting the move away from the fringes of finance for crytocurrencies like bitcoin.

Visa Inc said last month it would allow payment settlements using cryptocurrency while PayPal Holdings Inc launched a crypto checkout service on March 30. Bitcoin, the biggest crytocurrency, reached a record high last week, ahead of the trading debut of U.S. crytocurrency exchange Coinbase, but its rally has since cooled off.

The multi-fold rise in the value of cryptocurrencies has also been driven by investors seeking high-yielding assets amid low interest rates.

Earlier in the day, PayPal-owned peer-to-peer payment service Venmo said it had started allowing users to buy, hold and sell cryptocurrencies on its app.

WeWork agreed to go public late last month through a merger with a blank-check firm in a deal that values the start-up at $9 billion. SoftBank Group Corp said it would retain a majority stake in the company after the merger.

(Reporting by Sohini Podder and Niket Nishant in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)

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