The online payment platform PayPal has joined the cryptocurrency industry. In the coming weeks, users will be able to buy, sell, and hold Bitcoin and other virtual coins using PayPal’s online wallets with plans to extend to Venmo.
PayPal’s cryptocurrency venture will also see customers shop using digital assets. A statement by PayPal notes that about 26 million merchants will be using the crypto platform.
PayPal added that crypto payments on the platform will be settled through fiat currencies like the U.S dollar. In this case, merchants will not receive payments in virtual coins.
According to PayPal, the crypto service aims at pushing for the global use of virtual coins. Additionally, PayPal wants to be ready as it anticipates the development of digital assets by central banks and corporations.
U.S. users to benefit from PayPal crypto service first
The U.S payment service ventured into the cryptocurrency space after securing the necessary authorization from the New York State Department of Financial Services.
In partnership with Paxos, PayPal users will be able to purchase Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin. The service will first be available to American users with plans to expand in the first quarter of 2021.
PayPal President and CEO Dan Schulman highlighted the benefits of cryptocurrencies to the payment platform. According to Schulman:
“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.”
PayPal’s interest in cryptocurrencies does not come as surprise considering the company’s initial ties to the Facebook Libra project. PayPal was among Libra’s founding parties but dropped.
However, in the past, PayPal has come under criticism over alleged unfairness towards the crypto industry. This comes as different Central Banks spearhead research to develop digital versions of their currencies.