Blockchain infrastructure company Fireblocks has finalized the acquisition of First Digital, a stablecoin and digital asset payment platform, as part of a broader effort to expand its payment capabilities for the cryptocurrency sector.
The acquisition gives Fireblocks additional resources to enable payment service providers to acquire cryptocurrencies and accept payments in digital assets, potentially opening the door to wider use cases for the emerging technology. According to Fireblocks, merchants are eager to integrate crypto payments but high wallet integration costs and manual Know Your Customer and Anti-Money Laundering screening hinder adoption.
Through the acquisition of First Digital, Fireblocks plans to expand support for business-to-business, business-to-consumer and cross-border payment options via USD Coin (USDC), Celo and other stablecoins as early as this spring. Fireblocks CEO Michael Shaulov told Cointelegraph these services will be delivered through a “suite of tools via APIs that will provide an easy way to implement transactions, treasury management and compliance.”
While the terms of the deal weren’t disclosed publicly, Cointelegraph has learned that Fireblocks reportedly paid $100 million to acquire First Digital.
Although Fireblocks has only been around since 2017, the company is flush with cash after raising $799 million over several financing rounds. In January, the company raised $550 million in Series E funding, pushing its valuation to $8 billion.
Also founded in 2017, First Digital’s major focus has been on building stablecoin payment infrastructure and providing merchants with the ability to accept cryptocurrency payments. Shaulov described First Digital as a “leader in providing API-based stablecoin payment solutions,” adding that “we’ve worked with First on various payment projects and saw their work first hand.”
USDT? Nah, PayPal Coin.— Cointelegraph (@Cointelegraph) January 8, 2022
PayPal's SVP of Crypto and digital currencies announces that the fintech giant is indeed exploring making an in-house stablecoin. https://t.co/RT4oac1XWM
Efforts to normalize crypto payments are currently underway, though complex regulatory challenges have hindered progress. Meta, formerly Facebook, recently announced that it had abandoned its Diem stablecoin project. Online payments platform PayPal, meanwhile, recently confirmed that it is actively exploring the use of a stablecoin.