PayPal has announced they’re going to start accepting various cryptocurrencies as a form of payment and money for the first time, allowing their users to buy, store, and sell popular cryptocurrencies. The platform holder is expected to roll out support for crypto later this year.
This makes PayPal the first major company in the financial tech sector to officially adopt virtual currencies. Compared to their competitor, Square, who only support bitcoin, PayPal will support bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin.
Furthermore, PayPal will even extend support for cryptocurrencies on their money-sending subsidiary, Venmo, as well as international markets beginning early next year. This fall, PayPal is starting with the rollout of cryptocurrency support to their US customers in the coming weeks.
“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 CEO Dan Schulman said in a statement. “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.”
Schulman added that PayPal is “eager to work with central banks and regulators around the world” in supporting cryptocurrency. Reuters noted that transactions on PayPal will be settled using traditional fiat currency, meaning merchants won’t have to transfer digital currency into dollars after a transaction.
There is one catch, however, as you can only hold the cryptocurrencies you buy on PayPal in your PayPal account, as confirmed in their FAQ. They also add that crypto in your account “cannot be transferred to other accounts on or off PayPal.” This is an odd stance when compared to popular crypto exchanges, which let you sell or transfer crypto between accounts and other platforms.
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