Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has revealed that the company won’t be following Tesla’s example and buy bitcoin, but added that it may soon accept the cryptocurrency as payment.
Speaking with CNBC, the ride-hailing service business’ top dog said that even though discussions had been held about the possibility of purchasing the digital asset, the idea had been “quickly dismissed”.
The news comes after Elon Musk’s electric car company Tesla revealed that it had bought $1.5bn worth of bitcoin, causing the price of the cryptocurrency to reach another record peak at $44,220.
While the move sent some shock waves through Wall Street, it came after several hedge funds had demonstrated interest in taking bitcoin more seriously.
However, Khosrowshahi made it clear that Uber won’t follow in Tesla’s footsteps.
“We’re going to keep our cash safe. We’re not in the speculation business,” he said. “The upside in our company is in the business that we’ve built, not the investments that we invest in.”
That being said, Khosrowshahi was open to the idea of accepting the cryptocurrency as payment.
“Just like we accept all kinds of local currency, we are going to look at cryptocurrency and/or bitcoin in terms of currency to transact,” he said.
“That’s good for business. That’s good for our riders and our eaters. That we’ll certainly look at and if there’s a benefit there, if there’s a need there, we’ll do it. We’re just not going to do it as part of a promotion.”
Uber has taken steps in recent years to move into the FinTech space by launching Uber Money, an umbrella term for a series of financial services it offers its drivers, in October 2019.
In November 2020, Uber signed a partnership with Marqeta which would see the global card-issuing company support the growth of Uber Eats. Marqeta would also serve as Uber’s card issuing partner for future projects.
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