PayPal has always been a trendsetter in its own right, and has allowed millions of people around the world to bypass the shortcomings of outdated modes of payment, like cash and cheques. Today, the platform is bringing another unprecedented innovation for its users, allowing them to not just buy, sell or hold cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, but also use them to fulfill transactions on its platform.
“PayPal Holdings, Inc. today announced the launch of a new service enabling its customers to buy, hold and sell cryptocurrency directly from their PayPal account, and signaled its plans to significantly increase cryptocurrency’s utility by making it available as a funding source for purchases at its 26 million merchants worldwide,” the company said in a blog post today.
The company has always advocated for innovation in the way people ‘pay,’ and thinks that this move will help make digital currencies more mainstream, which is going to become a big part of the financial world very soon. In fact, PayPal claims that one in 10 central banks – representing approximately one-fifth of the world’s population – expect to issue their own digital currencies within the next three years.
This means that there is an entire market out there just waiting for a big company like PayPal to revolutionize it.
For now, PayPal only supports a few cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin, which can be bought, sold, or held directly through the use of PayPal wallet.
Moreover, the company will also help users understand the cryptocurrency ecosystem, the risks and opportunities related to investing in cryptocurrency, and information on blockchain technology, as part of its offering. Moreover, there will be no service fees when buying or selling cryptocurrency through December 31, 2020, and there are no fees for holding cryptocurrency in a PayPal account.
The feature that will allow users to use cryptocurrencies as a mode of payment will be rolled out in early 2021. “Consumers will be able to instantly convert their selected cryptocurrency balance to fiat currency, with certainty of value and no incremental fees. PayPal merchants will have no additional integrations or fees, as all transactions will be settled with fiat currency at their current PayPal rates,” the company said.
“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,” said Dan Schulman, president and CEO, PayPal.
He adds, “Our global reach, digital payments expertise, two-sided network, and rigorous security and compliance controls provide us with the opportunity, and the responsibility, to help facilitate the understanding, redemption and interoperability of these new instruments of exchange. We are eager to work with central banks and regulators around the world to offer our support, and to meaningfully contribute to shaping the role that digital currencies will play in the future of global finance and commerce.”
For now, the service is only available to U.S. users, but the company expects to expand the features to Venmo and select international markets in the first half of 2021.