WeWork to accept crypto for membership fees and pay landlords in bitcoin

Flexible office space provider WeWork has said it will roll out a way for members to pay their fees and rent out desks using cryptocurrencies.

Offered via a partnership with crypto exchange Coinbase and payments platform BitPay, WeWork will accept payments in bitcoin, ether, USD coin and paxos and several other cryptocurrencies. The company also said it will hold the cryptoassets on its balance sheet.

“As our member base continues to grow in the fintech sector, so will our ability to adapt to their needs and service a new economy,” said WeWork chief executive Sandeep Mathrani.

“It only makes sense for us to expand on the optionality we provide by adding cryptocurrency as an accepted form of payment for our members.”

WeWork said it will also use cryptocurrencies for outbound transactions, paying landlords and any third parties it uses across its operations in cryptocurrency “where applicable”.

The office space firm said Coinbase, which is a WeWork member, intends to use cryptocurrencies to pay for its membership going forward.

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WeWork is currently plotting a US listing via a Spac later this year that will value the business at $9bn. It had originally planned to go public in 2019, but shelved the float as doubts around its business model emerged.

In a statement in March, WeWork said it had made “significant progress” towards transforming its business through a strategic review. The firm cut costs, sold off non-core parts of its business, reduced its headcount by 67% and reshuffled its real estate portfolio to exit 106 locations worldwide.

Marcelo Claure, WeWork chairman and international chief executive of one of its largest shareholders SoftBank Group, said cryptocurrencies are “a central part” of workplaces in the future.

“WeWork’s ability to provide members with an additional convenient means of payment is hugely exciting,” said Claure. “I am very pleased that WeWork is taking steps to recognize the value this technology can provide our current and future members.”

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To contact the author of this story with feedback or news, email Emily Nicolle

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