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International Payment Gateways Leap American Counterparts

© by Vecteezy

Recent actions taken by regulatory bodies in the United States toward cryptocurrency exchanges have paralyzed American payment companies who had been dipping their toes in blockchain in recent months. While rumors fly about domestic cryptocurrency and crypto-adjacent companies leaving for the greener innovation pastures abroad, sector stock prices have struggled to find their footing, and most alarmingly, well-positioned foreign payment companies have taken advantage of this window of opportunity.

When PayPal announced its foray into cryptocurrency in October 2020, it was done with such great fanfare. Many expected PayPal would become among the top two or three methods by which American consumers purchased cryptocurrency. And while PayPal did drive positive buying activity – the company held nearly $700 million in bitcoin at the end of 2022 – its product was limited, offering only the ability to buy, sell, and hold the cryptocurrency. When the platform offered the ability to transfer assets off-platform in summer 2022, it did so in a limited capacity which many in the blockchain community derided as little more than window dressing, a way for PayPal to declare it is involved in cryptocurrency without embracing the spirit of the segment.

Similarly, payments behemoth Stripe has had a hot-and-cold relationship with crypto. It wasn’t long ago that Stripe co-founder Patrick Collison claimed “(Bitcoin) may or may not be important in five years,” as it canceled cryptocurrency related projects in 2018. It was only last month that the company walked this back, launching a fiat-to-crypto on-ramp. The blockchain community has not embraced these tools and with the recent news related to enforcement action taken by the Securities and Exchange Commission, there is skepticism regarding Stripe’s commitment to the space.

Recent action has not helped move major American crypto products forward. 

Instead, companies including Coinbase and Gemini are reportedly considering relocation where they may have an easier time handling the regulatory environment, even as it relates to its relationship with the American regulatory bodies.

The picture is far sunnier in the Caribbean and in other offshore locales, where payment innovations are attracting record-setting funding and user-traffic. 

NOWPayments has embraced the window of opportunity which PayPal and Stripe have neglected, offering a secure crypto payment gateway which can be integrated with all major content management platforms. Press from the young company centers on important (and nerdy) things, like a recent security update on how the company handles process around the encrypted-vault storage of private keys and mnemonic phrases. Though some may not understand, this is far more important to usage and adoption than the bureaucracy that litters the press feed from Coinbase. NOWPayments, in just four years, has skyrocketed in terms of global usage and adoption.

One has to wonder if the government of the United States understands the long-term impact of this regulatory action. The American government is hung up on the question of whether cryptocurrencies should be considered securities, yet it’s fair to ask whether American regulatory action is serving or protecting the end-consumer in a tangible way. 

Meanwhile, international payment companies like NOWPayments seem poised to leapfrog its American counterparts. At best, the American government risks these important payment companies relocating elsewhere. At worst, the American government will be responsible for American companies losing out on this wave of important innovation and being forced to the second-tier when compared to new, international leaders. 

Either way, it’s not a good look for Uncle Sam.