PayPal is Fighting Nazis; Stripe IPO could be worth $20 billion

PayPal is fighting Nazis by shutting down an account belonging to Der Wag (the Third Way), a German Neo-Nazi Party. Thus over 74 years after World War II PayPal (NASDAQ: PYPL) is still fighting Nazis.

Israeli politicians were mad at PayPal because Der Wag supports the radical Palestinian organization Hezbollah and bloodthirsty Syrian tyrant Bashar Assad, The Jerusalem Post reports. In addition, Der Wag supports a boycott of Israel and Jews and opposes “Zionist Genocide.”

Moreover, the Arab League, Canada, the Netherlands, and the United States brand Hezbollah a “terrorist organization.” On the other hand, the Federal Republic of Germany only considers Hezbollah’s “military arm” a terrorist organization.

In fact, German and American politicians have been urging PayPal to terminate Der Wag’s account for years. Obviously, PayPal’s action will trigger new debates about payment services and free speech.

The Stripe IPO could be worth $20 billion

The Stripe initial public offering (IPO) could be worth $20 billion, Fortune claims. To clarify, $20 billion is the estimate provided after Stripe’s last round of private financing in October 2018.

Analysts base Stripe’s valuation upon the widespread use of its payment interfaces by businesses of all shapes and sizes. For example, Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOG) uses a Stripe interface in Google Pay. Moreover, such venture capital favorites as Uber, Spotify, Didi Chuxing, and Grab use Stripe interfaces in their apps.

Incredibly, Stripe claims 80% of Americans have made purchases with its interface. Stipe is popular because it accepts payments in a wide variety of currencies.

Will Stripe Hold an IPO?

Stripe’s valuation is impressive, but it is small potatoes when compared to the biggest fintech unicorn; China’s Ant Financial. In fact, analysts estimated Ant’s value at $150 billion in June, CNBC reports.

To explain, Ant is the Alibaba Holdings (NYSE: BABA) spin-off that operates Alipay. However, The Wall Street Journal reports Ant recorded its biggest loss in years in 3rd Quarter 2018.

Under these circumstances, both Ant Financial and Stripe’s value could be far lower than the investment bankers claim. Additionally, I think Ant’s losses are the reason Stripe is holding off on its IPO.

Not surprisingly, Stripe Chief Operating Officer Claire Hughes Johnson says the company has no plans for an IPO. Thus, I think Stripe will stay private and independent for the foreseeable future.

Will Stripe accept cryptocurrency again?

Stripe gave up on Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrency payments last year. Fortune claims volatility motivated Stripe’s action but I think it was technical and legal difficulties.

For instance, the blockchain scalability problem limits Bitcoin’s transactions per second (TPS) to five to seven. Hence, a Stripe interface could crash if it accepts over five Bitcoin (BTC) payments at once.

In addition, governments like that in India have been trying to ban cryptocurrency. Plus Visa (NYSE: V) and MasterCard (NYSE: MA) the world’s two largest payment processers are refusing to support cryptocurrency credit and debit cards. Therefore, Stripe avoids a lot of technical and legal problems by saying no to cryptocurrency.

On the other hand, Johnson tells Fortune she is watching the cryptocurrency markets carefully. Hence Stripe could take payments in newer higher-volume cryptocurrencies like EOS (EOS) or Ripple (XRP) at any time.

Notably, Ripple’s developers claim their cryptocurrency can process 1,500 transactions a second. Under those circumstances, Ripple (XRP) is less likely to crash a payment interface than Bitcoin or Ethereum (ETH). EOS insiders have made similar claims but have failed to prove them.

Google Pay comes to France, and Chile

Google Pay is now available in France and Chile.

FrAndroid reports Google Pay launched in France on 11 December 2018, 9to5 Google reveals. Several financial institutions including Boon, Boursorama Banque, Enred, France, Lydia, N26, Revolut, MasterCard, and Visa are supporting Google Pay in France. French retailers accepting Google Pay reportedly include Flixbus, Deliverro, and Ryanair. 

In addition, Google Pay launched in Chile on 27 November 2018. However, only one credit card company CMR Falabella supports Google Pay in Chile, 9to5 Google reports. Importantly, CMR Falabella is one of the largest credit card providers in South America. Under those circumstances, Visa cards will reportedly support Google Pay in Chile.

Alphabet is now a Payment Institution in the EU

Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOG) is now a payment institution in the Republic of Ireland, The Irish Times reports. Specifically, Ireland’s Central Bank now recognizes Google Payment Ireland as a payment institution.

Therefore, Alphabet will now be able to offer a wide variety of payment services and interfaces in Ireland and across the European (EU). Under those circumstance Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOGL) could expand the financial services it offers in the Eurozone, because Ireland is part of the Eurozone.

Alphabet could offer checking or savings accounts, brokerage services, or cryptocurrency trading through Google Pay for example. In addition, Alphabet can create new payment interfaces and compete with Stripe.

Thus Alphabet could become a major financial services provider in Europe–if EU regulators let it. However, the Irish Central Bank’s decision will probably lead to a new battle between Alphabet and EU financial regulators.