Global payment processor Checkout.com has launched a new stablecoin settlement system that will allow merchants to process crypto payments from their customers in real time, potentially expanding the use of stablecoins in e-commerce.

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The stablecoin settlement system is centered around the Circle Dollar Coin (USDC), the second largest stablecoin by market cap, and allows merchants to automatically convert USD payments to fiat upon receipt. The service will be available to merchants around the clock, meaning that payments will be made on weekends and holidays in addition to regular business hours.

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The settlement system uses payout technology developed by crypto infrastructure provider Fireblocks. Through its beta program with Fireblocks, Checkout.com has completed over $300 million in transactions.

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Initially, the Checkout.com stablecoin settlement system will only support USDC, although it is planned to offer a wider range of assets over time.

Ran Goldie, Fireblocks VP of Payments, told Cryptooshala that blockchain technology could greatly improve the payment flow for merchants. “Traditionally, payments are very fragmented, slow and expensive,” Goldie said. “This first step in calculating merchant payouts with stablecoins is just a small part of what we can do in the payments space.”

Goldie continued: “Crypto merchants are very big now compared to just five years ago when crypto merchants didn’t really exist. The increased demand from merchants to receive payments in stablecoins shows their willingness to keep their funds and interact with their suppliers and counterparties in cryptocurrency.”

Rebranded in 2012 as a cloud payment solution, Checkout.com has been actively focusing on digital assets and Web3 by partnering with major crypto players including Coinbase, Crypto.com, FTX and MoonPay. In January, the company closed a $1 billion Series D investment round at a $40 billion valuation, Cryptooshala reports.

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While cryptocurrency has become a new asset class for investors, its utility as a medium of exchange is considered vital to mainstream adoption. Dollar-pegged stablecoins have become a viable alternative in emerging markets where access to US dollars is limited due to capital controls or sanctions and the local currency is losing its purchasing power due to hyperinflation.

Jess Holgrave, head of crypto strategy at Checkout.com, told Cryptooshala that the adoption of crypto among merchants marks a “legitimate transition from an early adoption phase to one that is more practical, pragmatic, and generally positive.” She further explained:

“This transition means there is significant demand for fintech companies that can provide easy-to-deploy solutions and services to enable merchants to get started with crypto payment options and then help them streamline the process over time.”