If you are a regular traveller on Uber, in the future you may be able to pay for your trips using cryptocurrency. The ride-hailing app’s CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said that customers will ultimately be able to pay for their rides with Bitcoin, and added that the company is waiting for a few improvements before giving the go-ahead. The Uber CEO further stated that the company was “having conversations all the time” about whether or not it should start accepting cryptocurrency as a means of payment. “Is Uber going to accept crypto in the future? Absolutely, at some point,” Mr Khosrowshahi told Bloomberg.
Mr Khosrowshahi, however, did not give any kind of indication of when this may happen. Though the company’s focus is on Bitcoin, Mr Khosrowshahi said other cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum could also be options.
As of now, Uber hasn’t jumped into the cryptocurrency bandwagon due to a few obstacles, said Mr Khosrowshahi. These include the environmental impact of mining the digital coins, which consumes a lot of electricity, as well as the high costs of digital asset exchanges, where the transaction fees are very high. He added that the company would lean into crypto when the exchange mechanism gets less expensive and the digital assets stop leaving an unnecessarily large carbon footprint.
Though the interest in cryptocurrencies has increased in recent years, many companies have been slow to accept them as a mode of payment. In 2014, Microsoft started accepting Bitcoin as a means of payment in its online store. Recently, Tesla began accepting Dogecoin, a meme cryptocurrency, for some of its products in its online store.
Volatility is one of the major concerns when it comes to cryptocurrencies as a form of payment, even though proponents of the digital assets have long argued that the tokens should be recognised as a form of payment.
At the time of writing, the price of Bitcoin, according to CoinMarketCap, was $42,201.61 (roughly Rs. 31.83 lakhs) down considerably from its all-time high of $69,000 (roughly Rs. 52 lakhs) in November 2021.