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Checkout.com makes around the clock liquidity a reality with stablecoin settlement

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Our mission is to enable businesses to thrive in the digital economy. It's a mission that's inspired us for over a decade to build a payments solution that helps businesses such as Netflix, Grab, Shein, Revolut, WorldRemit and Sony succeed — one transaction at a time.

Since 2018, Checkout.com has also gradually expanded its services to empower the burgeoning Web3 economy, earning the position as the leading payments provider to the industry's pioneers. Today we provide fiat processing and payouts for eight out of twelve of the world's largest crypto exchanges, including Blockchain.com, Binance and Crypto.com, and many other Web3 innovators including on/off-ramps and marketplaces.

It's at this intersection of Web2 and Web3 that we see enormous potential to shape the future of payments. We've taken a step closer to unlocking this potential with the launch of our stablecoin settlement solution, which will offer merchants the flexibility of 24/7 settlement, including weekends and holidays — increasing access to cash flow and significantly reducing operational complexity.

The solution leverages Fireblocks’ new crypto payment technology, which we've tested over a six-month pilot project with leading Web3 businesses, including on-ramp Transak and several exchanges. During this pilot, we've facilitated settlement of over $300 million using USDC and have tested, refined and optimized ways for customers’ online fiat transactions to be paid to merchants through USDC.

Following the pilot's success, we're making the solution available to more merchants, initially supporting USDC but with plans to expand to a broader range of assets.

Checkout explains … stablecoins

Stablecoins are a form of cryptocurrency. Their value is pegged to another currency, such as the US Dollar, another crypto asset, or a commodity like gold. Stablecoins attempt to match the price of the pegged asset by maintaining stocks of that asset as collateral or through algorithms that adjust to fluctuations in demand and supply. The latter is more prone to ‘breaking its peg’ because it is vulnerable to speculative attacks when the system is under-collateralized.

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Making 24/7 settlement a reality with stablecoins 

Crypto has come a long way quickly and is now part of the corporate landscape. In our recent Demystifying Crypto report, 66% of CFOs and treasurers said holding crypto on their balance sheets would bring positive benefits. They cite fast settlement as a significant benefit, with 69% saying it can have a revolutionary impact on liquidity.

These statistics aren't surprising. Businesses in the digital economy operate around the clock and in multiple geographies. Yet the financial systems they rely upon remain bound by rigid regional-dependent timetables. 

It's a mismatch that traps liquidity and prevents businesses from having the flexibility to tailor their cash flow management strategy to their unique business model and needs. As a result, businesses often find themselves unable to redirect capital to urgent opportunities, buy assets at the right price, or plan forward with certainly over cash flow.

Despite the utility of crypto to solve these issues, many businesses are yet to take action. In our research, 55% said crypto's price volatility and the risk of assets on the balance sheet regularly facing double-digit losses or gains overnight prevent large-scale institutional adoption.

We believe fully collateralized and redeemable USD-pegged stablecoins provide the answer. These make 24/7 settlement a reality while also mitigating the risk of volatility, giving businesses the freedom to move value 24/7/365 across blockchain ecosystems.

The additional value unlocked with stablecoin settlement  

Around-the-clock access to liquidity provides enormous utility for businesses. For instance, one of the crypto exchanges involved in our pilot could start onboarding new large customers over the weekend due to its ability to access liquidity using stablecoin settlement. This wouldn't have been possible previously with cash trapped in the banking system. 

But there are other benefits that we've helped businesses unlock during the six-month stablecoin settlement pilot. These include: 

Faster settlement

Legacy problem: The fiat world is defined by settlement time windows and complexities of the existing clearing, settlement and correspondent banking system, creating bottlenecks and friction for businesses looking to settle funds fast. 

Checkout.com solution: Stablecoins remove these points of friction and bottlenecks, allowing businesses to access working capital fast with the near-instant settlement of fiat transactions in stablecoin, rather than the need to wait multiple days. 

On-chain settlement

Legacy problem: Web3 businesses have complicated contracts, setups, expensive tariffs and provider fees with off-chain intermediaries that take operational and engineering resources to build and maintain.

Checkout.com solution: With on-chain stablecoin settlement, businesses can reduce their operational overheads using a single platform to get reliable, cost-effective settlements at scale. 

Borderless currency

Legacy problem: The fiat world is fragmented, forcing businesses to work with fiat intermediates across different regions and settlement time windows that make the availability of liquidity location-dependent. 

Checkout.com solution: With stablecoin settlement, businesses benefit from frictionless value exchange domestically and cross-border, adding liquidity where needed while reducing high cross-border and FX costs. 

Go live in new markets

Legacy problem: It often takes businesses significant time and effort to onboard new partners that allow them to receive and hold fiat settlements in new markets. 

Checkout.com solution: With our platform and stablecoin settlement capabilities, we give businesses access to a global infrastructure to support them as they scale.

Building to power digital-native payments 

The successful pilot of our stablecoin settlement solution and the ability to start offering this to a broader array of businesses marks a significant milestone. But we're just getting started and are bullish about the potential of the technology that powers Web3 to modernize the entire payments ecosystem. 

About the Author

Jess Houlgrave is Head of Crypto Strategy at Checkout.com. Jess is focused on Checkout.com’s go-to-market strategy. She is responsible for scaling the company’s crypto offering, enabling Checkout.com to power the world’s largest exchanges, fan token platforms and wallets. Jess also sits on the Bank of England Engagement Forum for CBDC, the UK Fintech Strategy Group and the DIT / Innovate Finance International Fintech Advisory Group.

Profile Photo of Jess Houlgrave