Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Payment giant PayPal has put an end to all speculation by confirming that it aims to acquire Israeli cryptocurrency custody provider Curv in the first half of the year. In a press release, it explained that the acquisition was a move to accelerate and expand its initiatives to support cryptocurrencies and digital assets. No financial terms were disclosed, although a person close to the company said that the transaction was under $200 million.

The acquisition is the latest move by PayPal in the cryptocurrency market, giving an insight into the company’s strategy to capitalize on the changing world of financial technology. Curv is a provider of cloud-based infrastructure for digital asset security based in Tel Aviv, Israel. PayPal had earlier bought coupon service Honey for $4 billion in 2019, and small business payments service iZettle for $2.2 billion in 2018.

The company had announced its foray into the realm of cryptocurrency in October 2020, to help shape the role digital currency will play in the future of financial services and commerce. Saying that the shift to tokens was “inevitable,” PayPal had created a business unit focused on blockchain, crypto, and digital currencies. Curv, thus, is set to join the newly formed group, the company confirmed.

Jose Fernandez da Ponte, VP and General Manager of PayPal’s blockchain and digital currency group, said the company had been in talks with Curv for nearly a year, and its technical sophistication was one of the reasons PayPal was interested in acquiring it.

He praised the talent involved in the Israeli start-up, saying, “The acquisition of Curv is part of our effort to invest in the talent and technology to realize our vision for a more inclusive financial system. During our conversations with Curv’s team, we’ve been impressed by their technical talent, entrepreneurial spirit, and the thinking behind the technology they’ve built in the last few years. We’re excited to welcome the Curv team to PayPal.”

Curv co-founder and CEO Itay Malinger said, “As a pioneer in security infrastructure for digital assets, Curv is proud to be recognized as an innovator and trusted partner to leading financial institutions around the world. Now, as the adoption of digital assets accelerates, we feel there’s no better home than PayPal to continue our journey of innovation. We’re excited to join PayPal in expanding the role these assets play in the global economy.”