PayPal launches cryptocurrency support for online payments
On March 30th, PayPal announced it would begin accepting cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin, for online transactions. This announcement came in as a follow up of PayPal’s announcement, back in Oct 2020, that it will accept cryptocurrency for all online payments. With over 375 million active users, PayPal aims to not only increase the likelihood of cryptocurrency adoption for everyday use but also allow users to easily buy, hold, and sell digital currencies.
PayPal’s CEO, Dan Schulman, stated that the company was eager to collaborate with central banks and regulators worldwide to aid in the securitisation, efficiency, and speed of the payment systems. Although PayPal isn’t the first company to offer support for cryptocurrencies, with its competitor Square launching support for Bitcoin back in 2018, it adds a safety net for its merchants and investors. By streamlining the process through conversion of cryptocurrency into its local currency at standardised rates, merchants will be receiving fiat currency as payment, ensuring that they would not be facing the uncertainty of volatility.
As this transition marks a shift towards the popularisation of cryptocurrencies, many are debating whether large financial firms are driving the spike in cryptocurrency prices for their own benefit. With Bitcoin seeing a 50% increase in value, from $40,000 to $60,000+, since the start of this year, many financial firms are opening their networks to cryptocurrency as hedge against inflation in the future. PayPal’s efforts at propagating and bringing cryptocurrency to everyday use also include bringing Bitcoin to its funds transferring service, Venmo, where users can now send and receive payments in the form of cryptocurrencies.
Whether this trend continues, with more people incentivised by large corporations into investing into cryptocurrency, remains to be seen, but the ease of use and prospect of possible returns through investments has been gaining traction amongst mainstream investors.