In a major move for the cryptocurrency adoption, US payment giant PayPal announced that it has joined the cryptocurrency market. Customers will, in early 2021, be able to buy, sell, and hold cryptocurrencies directly from their PayPal account.
The motivation behind this shift was the migration to digital payments that was driven by the COVID-19 pandemic. There has been an increased interest in digital currencies from customers all the way to central banks. With more people keen to get into cryptocurrency, PayPal is looking to increase the utility of digital currencies by making them a payment method for its 26 million merchants and over 300 million active users worldwide.
“The shift to digital forms of currencies is inevitable, bringing with it clear advantages in terms of financial inclusion and access; efficiency, speed and resilience of the payments system; and the ability for governments to disburse funds to citizens quickly”
Dan Schulman, President and CEO of PayPal
Dan Schulman continued on to say that PayPal is eager to work with central banks and regulators the world over. PayPal hopes to make a meaningful contribution to shaping the role that cryptocurrencies will play in the future of global commerce and finance.
PayPal customers in the United States should expect to see this service in the coming weeks. It will then follow to Venmo and selected international markets in the first half of 2021. This service is enabled through a partnership with Paxos Trust Company, a regulated provider of cryptocurrency products and services.
Paypal has secured the first conditional cryptocurrency license from the New York Department of Financial Services. It will initially allow purchases of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin from within the PayPal digital wallet.
PayPal offering cryptocurrency purchases is a big deal for digital currency adoption
Although cryptocurrencies tend to be volatile, PayPal accommodating them as a means of payment could be a catalyst to them being used more broadly. Above all else, I think adding cryptocurrencies gives PayPal customers even more financial flexibility and freedom.
It will be interesting to see what this does to the payments space as the service gradually makes it’s way to the rest of the world.