Uber to start accepting crypto as payments for ride bookings, confirms CEO Dara Khosrowshahi

  • Uber CEO confirmed that the team is having conversations about crypto all the time and will look into Bitcoin.
  • The CEO also cited some environmental concerns with the use of digital assets and will “lean” more once these concerns alleviate.

In one of the major revelations on Friday, February 11, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said that his company will start accepting cryptocurrencies as a means of payment. The ride-hailing giant shows its interest in cryptocurrencies as digital assets continue to gain mainstream adoption.

Khosrowshahi’s comments came during an interview with Bloomberg on Friday. During his interview, the Uber CEO said that the $68bn company was “going to look at cryptocurrency and or Bitcoin”. However, Uber is not willing to rush through this decision of accepting digital assets.

The Uber CEO said that the company will start accepting crypto “at some point”, but stressed now wasn’t the right time. Khosrowshahi said that his company is having “conversations all the time” as they are weighing a couple of metrics before jumping into the crypto bandwagon. The Uber CEO stressed the environmental impact of the use of digital assets.

Crypto mining activities continue to stay under pressure due to enormous energy usage. This was one of the key reasons for Tesla to reconsider and suspend its decision of accepting Bitcoin payments. However, after the China crypto ban last year in May 2021, the industry has witnessed a major transition to green energy. Top players in the crypto mining space are also working in this direction. Furthermore, the Uber CEO also stressed the steep costs of exchanges involving digital assets. He said:

As the exchange mechanism becomes less expensive, becomes more environmentally friendly, I think you will see us lean into crypto a little bit more.

Uber Q4 earnings show recovery

Last week, Uber reported its fourth-quarter earnings for the year 2021. The company managed to deliver better-than-expected results on multiple fronts.

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Uber’s earnings per share stood at 44 cents with revenue at $5.78 billion against street expectations of $5.34 billion. For the fourth quarter, Uber reported a net income of $892 million. It also includes $1.4 billion in pretax net benefits relating to its equity investments.

Interestingly, Uber has also managed to successfully sail through the Omicron COVID-19 variant spread. The company’s gross bookings for its mobility business surged 67% year-over-year to $11.3 billion. Also, the gross bookings for its delivery business surged 34% year-over-year to $13.4 billion. Speaking on this matter, Khosrowshahi said:

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While the Omicron variant began to impact our business in late December, Mobility is already starting to bounce back, with Gross Bookings up 25% month-on-month in the most recent week.

A look into digital assets by Uber isn’t surprising considering other big corporates have been doing the same. Everyone is looking to dabble into the cryptocurrency market, however, they are just waiting for a clear set of regulations. The Joe Biden administration is all set to soon release a regulatory order on digital assets.

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About Author

Bhushan is a FinTech enthusiast and holds a good flair for understanding financial markets. His interest in economics and finance draw his attention towards the new emerging Blockchain Technology and Cryptocurrency markets. He is continuously in a learning process and keeps himself motivated by sharing his acquired knowledge. In his free time, he reads thriller fictions novels and sometimes explores his culinary skills.

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