Bolt to enable Bitcoin and NFT access via Wyre acquisition

San Francisco-based e-commerce startup Bolt is moving into cryptocurrencies and nonfungible tokens (NFTs) by acquiring fiat-to-crypto and payment infrastructure firm Wyre.

According to a joint announcement on Thursday, Bolt has reached a definitive agreement to acquire Wyre, aiming to close the deal later in 2022.

According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, the acquisition cost Bolt $1.5 billion. Bolt did not directly confirm or deny the size of the deal to Cointelegraph.

Bolt and Wyre are now planning to work together to create new commerce solutions for the mainstream, including crypto usage by Bolt’s global merchants, retailers, shoppers and developers. Bolt and Wyre expect to fully integrate their services before the end of the year, adding Bolt’s checkout system CheckoutOS to the cryptocurrency ecosystem.

With the ultimate goal of enabling decentralized commerce, the collaboration aims to allow Bolt’s consumers to pay for goods with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) while providing merchants with the tools to accept crypto. The acquisition also aims to allow users to purchase NFTs through Bolt’s platform through Wyre’s APIs.

According to Bolt founder and executive chairman Ryan Breslow, the acquisition of Wyre has fulfilled its long-time ambition. “When I wrote the draft business plan for Bolt, I had always imagined cryptocurrency at its center,” he said, adding:

“That was 2015, and the idea was a slide on a pitch deck. To think that seven years later, we’d be partnering with Wyre to make that vision a reality is incredible. This acquisition will fast-track our efforts to democratize commerce — and it will serve as a powerful proof point for the union of cryptocurrency and commerce.”

Wyre co-founder and CEO Ioannis Giannaros pointed out that the collaboration will set a “new standard and provide new opportunities at a global scale.” He added, “Simply put, we want to allow every retailer to transact easily in cryptocurrency, removing long-standing barriers.” 

Founded in 2013, Wyre is a crypto-friendly payments firm that focuses on blockchain implementations to facilitate cross-border payments. Bolt, founded in 2014 by Ryan Breslow, specialize in online payments by focusing on what it calls a one-click checkout service for merchants.