PayPal finally delivered on expectations to add cryptocurrency transactions to its service on Wednesday, such that users will now be able to buy, sell and hold bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies using the digital payments service.
Paypal users will now be able to buy bitcoin on Paypal.
The move comes months after rumours about the development.
Bitcoin is exchanging hands at $12,250 at the time of writing.
PayPal users will be able to use cryptocurrencies to shop at the 26 million merchans on its network starting in 2021, the company revealed in a statement.
The payments company hopes the service will encourage global use of virtual currencies and prepare its network for new digital currencies that will probably be developed by central banks and corporations, President and Chief Executive Dan Schulman said in an interview.
“We are working with central banks and thinking of all forms of digital currencies and how PayPal can play a role,” he said.
US account holders will be able to buy, sell and hold cryptocurrencies in their PayPal wallets in the coming weeks, the company revealed. It plans to expand this service to Venmo and other countries in the first half of 2021.
Mainstream fintech companies such as mobile payment platform Square and Robinhood already allow users to buy, sell and store crypto, but PayPal’s launch is another big leap for bitcoin given its 340 million-plus users.
In fact, the company has 346 million active accounts around the world and processed $222 billion in payments in the second quarter.
Will PayPal add bitcoin to its balance sheet?
The question now turns to whether PayPal will act like its peers and convert a percentage of its reserves to bitcoin.
Now that PayPal has shown signs that it will follow in the direction of bitcoin acceptance, perhaps the next paradigm shift is due once the firm puts down some cash in bitcoin.
Microstrategy and Square have already taken the plunge, along with a whole list of other publicly traded companies.
It’s time for PayPal to follow suit.
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