Ah, France. The land of pastries, romance, and at times, odd conflicts.
Take digital currency for example. A few days ago, we learned that a major right-wing political party is eyeing the complete ban of all forms of cryptocurrency—including bitcoin—in the European country should it ascend to power in the next election.
This bit of news, however, does not seem to faze Stripe, a fintech start-up, from launching a new platform in France—one that supports a host of payment options, including Apple Pay, Pay Android, Alipay, and bitcoin.
A brainchild of brothers Patrick and John Collison, Stripe’s main goal is to make things easier for online businesses by giving them “the broadest possible range of payment and transaction-related tools.” So far, the platform already supports 130 currencies and modern payment methods such as cryptocurrency.
Stripe also offers invoicing support and accounting tools, making it a one-stop shop for businesses that want to venture into the world of modern payments. John Collison told AFP: “The idea is to allow new entrepreneurs to easily launch their online business and accept money regardless of its origin.”
Including France, Stripe’s payment platform is now available in no less than 25 countries, and many investors see the San Francisco-based company as one of the last “unicorns”—the elite club of start-ups with valuations reaching billions—in the fintech sector.
Still the question remains: will this “unicorn” survive if Marine Le Pen and her Front National political party wins in the 2017 elections? It’s worth noting that Stripe’s launch in France wasn’t a hasty decision. The company said it had been testing the complete solution in the country “for over a year” and “have already had thousands of French businesses start building” on its payment platform.
Meanwhile, the price of bitcoin ended the week with a slight drop, hitting $577.48 on Friday with more than 15.64 million of bitcoins in circulation.