PayPal Holdings Inc entered the cryptocurrency business, enabling clients to purchase, sell and retain bitcoin and other virtual coins using the online wallets of the US digital payments firm.
Starting in early 2021, the firm said in a tweet, PayPal users would now be able to use cryptocurrencies to buy at the 26 million dealers on its network.
In an interview, President and Chief Executive Officer Dan Schulman said PayPal hopes the service will promote the global use of virtual coins and ready its network for emerging digital currencies that can be created by central banks and businesses.
We collaborate with central banks and think about all kinds of digital currencies and how they can play a part in PayPal, “he added.”
Over the coming weeks, the account holders will be able to purchase, sell and carry cryptocurrencies in their PayPal wallets, the business stated. It aims to extend in the first half of 2021 to Venmo and some regions.
Other mainstream fintech firms, such as Square Inc, a mobile payment service, and Robinhood Markets Inc, a stock exchange software group, allow consumers to purchase and sell cryptocurrencies, but the introduction of PayPal is notable considering its broad scope.
Cryptocurrencies tend to be unpredictable, rendering them enticing to speculators, but to retailers and consumers a lot less desirable. Transactions have been slower than most mainstream payment schemes and more expensive.
PayPal blockchain payments can be settled using fiat currencies, such as the US dollar, which ensures that retailers won’t receive virtual coin payments, the business stated.
In the coming years, several central banks around the world have expressed their intention to create digital versions of their currencies, while Facebook Inc-led the launch of Libra in 2019, a cryptocurrency initiative. PayPal was a founder member, but after a few months, it fell out.