Today In Payments: J.P. Morgan Says Bitcoin Escalation Not Sustainable; UK Uber Drivers Are Entitled To Benefits, PTO

In today’s top news, J.P. Morgan analysts say bitcoin’s price escalations do not represent a sustainable investment, and a ruling says Uber must treat its U.K. drivers as employees, not gig workers. Plus, Stripe is said to be valued at $115 billion.

J.P. Morgan: Bitcoin Escalation Not Sustainable

The recent price escalations of the digital currency bitcoin make it a shaky long-term investment, according to J.P. Morgan analysts. Bitcoin hit $51,116 on Friday (Feb. 19), down from Wednesday’s record high of $52,640.

UK Rules Uber Drivers Are Entitled To Benefits, PTO

The U.K. Supreme Court ruled unanimously to uphold a lower court’s decision that Uber and other gig economy workers are employees and not independent contractors. Thanks to the ruling, U.K. Uber drivers are entitled to paid time off, a minimum wage and other benefits previously denied to gig economy workers.

Stripe Said To Be Raising Money At A $115 Billion Valuation

Stripe is reportedly valued at $115 billion by investors, which is more than triple the $36 billion valuation the company garnered at the time of an April 2020 investment from venture firms. Stripe has also reportedly previously held talks to go public.

Google Teams With JB Hunt For Logistics Innovation

Transportation and logistics firm J.B. Hunt has launched a multi-year strategic alliance with Google Cloud to expand its offering of tools, which connect shippers and carriers based on artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML).

Report: Request For Payment Seen By Banks As Real-Time Payments Game Changer

Late payments can sink businesses, but there is a fix: request for payment that allows consumers to pay and billers to instantly receive funds. Hisham Salama, executive vice president and chief digital officer at Bank of the West, explains how pairing request-for-payment features with real-time payment options can usher in “payments nirvana” for businesses in this month’s Real-Time Payments Tracker.

AI: The Glue That Binds FIs’ Fraud Prevention Systems

Financial institutions face a dizzying array of cybercrime threats that require multilayered defenses. In this month’s Digital Fraud Tracker, PYMNTS spoke with Mike Upton, chief digital and technology officer at First Tech Federal Credit Union, about the role that artificial intelligence (AI) plays in coordinating among those layers while offering new data insights.

Robinhood CEO Testifies, Apologizes Before House Financial Services Committee

Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev expressed regret for placing restrictions on stocks involved in the GameStop run, despite the app’s purported mission of providing free access. Conveying contradictory sentiments, Tenev also defended the choice, stating that it was a necessary response to a “completely unprecedented event.”