Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told CNBC on Thursday the company discussed but “quickly dismissed” the idea of buying bitcoin with corporate cash like Telsa.
However, Khosrowshahi said Uber would consider accepting cryptocurrencies as payment.
The comments come after Tesla announced earlier this week that it bought $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin with some cash on its balance sheet and plans to begin accepting the digital coin as payment for its products. Tesla’s moves caught Wall Street’s attention and some wondered whether the electric-vehicle maker’s decision would be a tipping point for further crypto adoption.
In an interview on “Squawk Box,” Khosrowshahi was asked whether Uber had considered similar actions to Tesla. “It’s a conversation that’s happened that has been quickly dismissed,” he said. “We’re going to keep our cash safe. We’re not in the speculation business,” he stressed. “The upside in our company is in the business that we’ve built, not the investments that we invest in.”
As of Dec. 31, Uber reported it had $5.65 billion in cash and cash equivalents, along with $1.18 billion in short-term investments.
Khosrowshahi, who took over as Uber’s chief executive in 2017, left open the possibility that the ride-hailing and food-delivery provider would accept cryptocurrencies as payment.
“Just like we accept all kinds of local currency, we are going to look at cryptocurrency and/or bitcoin in terms of currency to transact,” he said. “That’s good for business. That’s good for our riders and our eaters. That