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Uber Will 'Absolutely' Accept Bitcoin—When It Becomes More 'Environmentally Friendly': CEO

Dara Khosrowshahi today said that Uber was having conversations about accepting cryptocurrency "all the time."

2 min read
The rise of the gig economy has seen companies like Uber become tech unicorns. Image: Shutterstock

Uber, the world's largest ride-sharing app, today doubled down on its plans to eventually accept various forms of cryptocurrency, including Bitcoin, for payment. 

Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber's CEO, said in a Friday Bloomberg interview that the company would "absolutely" accept cryptocurrency in the future. 

"We are having conversations all the time [about cryptocurrency],” he said. "I think right now what we see with Bitcoin and some of the other cryptos is that they are quite valuable as a store of value."

He added: "The exchange mechanism is expensive, it's not great for the environment. As the exchange mechanism becomes less expensive, becomes more environmentally friendly, I think you will see us lean into crypto a little bit more."

Bitcoin is routinely criticized over its energy usage and purported environmental impact. In order to secure the Bitcoin blockchain and create new Bitcoins, the network undergoes a process called mining, which involves large computing rigs racing to solve complex mathematical problems.

Globally, that results in electricity consumption per year that's on par with the country of Argentina, according to data from Cambridge. Nevertheless, Uber's CEO appears convinced that these issues will one day be overcome.

"Is Uber going to accept crypto in the future? Absolutely, at some point. This isn't the right point. But we will."

This isn't the first time the popular ride-sharing app has come out in favor of cryptocurrencies. This time last year, Khosrowshahi said the company was "going to look at cryptocurrency and or Bitcoin in terms of currency to transact."

Khosrowshahi's comments come as other big companies and institutions show interest in cryptocurrencies—particularly Bitcoin. 

Electric car company Tesla last year added Bitcoin to its balance sheet and started accepting the asset for payments (it later stopped accepting it due to environmental concerns, but the company's CEO Elon Musk said that it may well start again in the future.) 

While this week KPMG Canada, one of the biggest accounting firms in the world, bought Bitcoin and Ethereum as part of an investment strategy. It joined the likes of MicroStrategy, Jack Dorsey's Block (previously known as Square), and Musk's Tesla in adding crypto to corporate treasuries. 

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