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Time to roll out your crypto strategy

October 26, 2021, 10:21 AM UTC

Good morning,

Do you have a crypto strategy yet?

Mastercard announced on Monday a partnership with the cryptocurrency firm Bakkt to provide its payments network partners crypto capabilities. Merchants, banks, and fintechs can offer customers the option to buy, sell, and hold Bitcoin and other digital assets through custodial wallets as well as crypto debit and credit cards through Bakkt’s platform. Mastercard will also integrate crypto into its loyalty solutions, according to the company. 

Entertainment companies like AMC are embracing crypto. AMC Theatres CEO Adam Aron announced on October 5 that consumers can use Dogecoin and other forms of crypto to buy AMC digital gift cards. Aron also tweeted on September 15: “AMC Theatres has announced we will accept Bitcoin for online ticket and concession payments by year-end 2021.” 

How about using Bitcoin to purchase ownership shares in a second home? I spoke recently with Pacaso CFO Nina Tran about the company’s new partnership with BitPay, which will allow Pacaso to accept crypto payments for its unique second (and third) home-buying model. Founded by veterans of Zillow and launched in October 2020, the company is geared toward those who want to own a second home but don’t want to deal with the headaches of actually taking care of it. 

Pacaso has annual revenue of $330 million and manages $200 million in real estate on its platform, according to the company. It works with real estate agents to assist potential buyers in finding their home, and matches them with other homebuyers with similar interests. The co-owners get 100% ownership of the home at closing, unlike with some timeshare arrangements. In Q2, Pacaso’s website and mobile app saw 1.8 million website visits, a 196% increase from Q1 2021, the company announced.

As Tran told me: “When there is a potential buyer who wants to buy Pacaso share, we will invoice them on BitPay. They’ll pick their wallet and their currency.” Pacaso’s accounting team won’t be handling crypto. “At this point, BitPay is taking on all of that payment risk,” she says. In the U.S., for example, during processing, the crypto will convert to a fiat U.S. dollar before it hits Pacaso’s bank accounts. Buyers are also able to pay half in fiat currency and half in crypto, she says.

I asked if the company will ever have Bitcoin on its balance sheet. “It’s something that we continue to evaluate, but I don’t have any new news to share at this point,” Tran told me. I also asked if CFOs, in general, need to gain more knowledge of blockchain. “I think it’s still early stage,” Tran began. “The answer is yes, overall.” But it will be a gradual process as blockchain and crypto continue to garner the interest of CFOs, she says. “At this point, I’m just like the rest of the industries—everybody’s starting to learn more and doing more research to get to a point where we can speak about it more frequently.”

The last time I chatted with Tran was this past spring when she first joined the company. Since then, Pacaso announced in September it raised $125 million in Series C funding, bringing the company’s valuation to $1.5 billion. Is an IPO in the near future? “We’re always looking at different options to raise capital to figure out [the best ways] to grow,” Tran says. The management team is deciding between another round of private funding, an IPO, a direct listing, or SPAC, “all of those options are always on the table,” she says. 


See you tomorrow.

Sheryl Estrada
sheryl.estrada@fortune.com

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Fortune’s CFO Collaborative in partnership with Workday, “The CFO’s Role in Redefining the Future of Work,” takes place on October 27. The program, created just for CFOs, will feature a discussion with Julie Sweet, Chief Executive Officer, Accenture, and KC McClure, Chief Financial Officer, Accenture, and be followed by a panel with CFOs including Tracey Doi of Toyota North America, Scott Herren of Cisco, and Robynne Sisco of Workday. We will explore how leaders are differentiating their organizations when it comes to upskilling, digital capabilities, training, and creating talent pipelines amid the war for talent. CFOs can apply here. For more information, email CFOCollaborative@Fortune.com.

Big deal

A new report by Alliance Data Systems Corporation (NYSE: ADS) gauges the payment wants of Gen Z consumers. Across all consumers, cash and debit cards are the top payment types. However, digital payment options appeal to Gen Z as 53% of respondents use person-to-person payment apps more than any other generation, the report found. About 50% use PayPal, and 25% said they would consider using cryptocurrency. Gen Zers also want seamless payment experiences. For example, 76% want a payment type the will immediately credit their account for a return. The findings are based on a survey of 2,515 U.S. consumers. 

Going deeper

Creating Flex Work Policies … When Everyone Has Different Needsa report published on October 25 in Harvard Business Review, offers six strategies for managers amid this period of transition, such as managers having one-on-one conversations with employees to understand their needs. "You won’t be able to satisfy every preference, but when employees trust that you have their best interests in mind, the likelihood of improved retention, productivity, and innovation increases," workplace expert Liz Kislik writes. 

Leaderboard

Jon Carpenter was named CFO at Comscore (NASDAQ: SCOR), a media measurement and analytics company, effective November 29, 2021. Carpenter has served as CFO at Publishers Clearing House since 2016. Prior to that, he served in various senior divisional CFO roles for Nielsen, Sears Holdings, and NBC Universal. Carpenter started his career with General Electric in their Financial Management Program.

Vivian Liu was named CFO at ContextLogic Inc. (NASDAQ: WISH), a mobile e-commerce platform, effective November 10, 2021. Liu currently serves as CFO and SVP at Shutterfly, Inc., a platform for photography-based personalized products. Prior to joining Shutterfly, Liu served as CFO and SVP at Lexmark International, and had previously been VP of finance, enterprise BG at Huawei Technology Inc. Prior to Huawei, Liu spent eight years at Cisco Systems, Inc. where she held a number of senior finance positions. Earlier in her career, she held finance positions with Deloitte Financial Advisory Services, Goldman Sachs, and Deloitte & Touche LLP.

Kyle Lorentzen was named EVP and CFO at CommScope Holding Company, Inc. (NASDAQ: COMM), a network infrastructure provider, effective November 1, 2021. Lorentzen succeeds Alex Pease, who is stepping down to assume a senior executive role at another public company, according to CommScope. Lorentzen currently serves as SVP and chief transformation officer. He joined CommScope in December 2020 to develop and oversee the company’s ongoing CommScope NEXT strategy.

Overheard

"I think if you make Facebook safer and more pleasant, it will be a more profitable company in 10 years' time."

—Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen told a parliamentary committee in the United Kingdom on Monday, as reported by Fortune

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