Shopify’s Lütke ponders over DeFi and the platform’s role in decentralization

Crypto’s “March Madness” towards mainstream adoption continues in April as Shopify Chief Executive Offier Tobias Lütke consulted the decentralized finance (DeFi) community on Twitter on the role Shopify potentially could play.

In a Friday night tweet, Lütke asked “What are the commerce related opportunities that you are most excited about? What role do you want Shopify to play?”

Hundreds of replies came in immediately, including some from notable DeFi players. Alex Svanevik, Chief Executive Officer of analytics platform Nansen opted for stablecoin payments while ConsenSys, Head of Product Corbin Page suggested the use of DeFi protocols to allow cash in Shopify accounts to earn yield.

There were other more complex suggestions made in response to the question. Some centered on the leverage of deposited funds for payments, real-time subscription fees, and using Alchemix protocol to enable asset-backed loans for payments.

Although such an inquiry on Twitter of course can only lead to speculation, nonetheless this can seem to be a sign that the Shopify CEO is seriously considering further implementing crypto in their product. And they are not a stranger to crypto. Lütke send out some tweets earlier as well saying he had been “dabbling” with smart contracts, referring to their functionality as “fascinating.”

Lütke described their business perfectly in one tweet that captures it all:

“Shopify is a product of pre-crypto times and spiritually aligned with decentralizing opportunity. Over a million businesses use us around the world.”

He then explained what specifically he meant with “spiritually aligned.”

“Usually companies see a market like retail and say “cool, I’ll go win that market”. Shopify did “cool, let’s make sure everyone can participate”. So in spirit (not by your definition) we are helping push against centralization. Makes sense?”

No stranger to Crypto

Shopify are not getting into the cryptocurrency space just now, but rather considering expanding to the DeFi space. Last year, the platform had already integrated Bitpay and Coinbase Commerce in order to allow its merchants to begin accepting several cryptocurrencies as payment. They have also joined the Facebook-led Libra Association, Facebook’s digital asset in an attempt of a global currency and financial infrastructure.

Shopify was founded in 2004 by Tobias Lütke and Scott Lake and are headquartered in Ottawa, Ontario. With their e-commerce platform for online stores and retail point-of-sales system, they offer online retailers a suite of services including payments, marketing, shipping and customer engagement tools by  is the largest company in Canada, with over 3 million merchants on its platform operating globally. The company employs over 7,000 people and in 2020 it was good for a revenue of almost US$3 billion.

An endorsement or even a consideration by such large global player should be major boost for DeFi.

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