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Sorry, Bitcoin: CFOs say they aren’t adopting crypto

May 28, 2021, 9:30 AM UTC

For cryptocurrencies to reach the levels that bulls predict (we’re looking at you, Cathie Wood), crypto will need to engrain itself deeply into the financial system.

One way that could happen is if businesses actually begin to accept crypto as a form of payment. There’s been some progress toward that this year, with PayPal and Starbucks offering people ways to spend cryptocurrency, but the biggest splash was Tesla’s February announcement that it would start accepting Bitcoin payments. Since then, the company has reversed that move citing environmental concerns (even though it says it will continue holding Bitcoin on its balance sheet).

Are more companies considering crypto payments? To find out, Fortune teamed up with NewtonX, a B2B market research company, to conduct our first-ever chief financial officer survey between April 27 and May 5.* (NewtonX made the full report available here.)

The finding? In the corporate world, fiat is still king. Among CFOs we surveyed, only 1% accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment. Another 2% will adopt it this year or next.

Our survey polled CFOs from companies with fewer than 10,000 employees. We did that intentionally, since most of our executive surveys during the pandemic have skewed towards larger firms. If you think these small or mid-sized players are lagging behind their larger peers when it comes to crypto adoption, that doesn’t seem to be the case.

Big firms are equally reticent. Separately, we included the question in our annual Fortune 500 CEO survey. The result: Among those Fortune 500 chiefs, 1% said their company accepts crypto, while another 1% are planning to accept it before the end of 2022.

Simply put: When it comes to the business world, crypto has a long way to go.

*Methodology: The Fortune-NewtonX CFO survey was conducted among 75 U.S. chief financial officers between April 27 and May 5, 2021.

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