It has been confirmed this morning that PayPal will allow customers to buy, sell and hold bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies using the U.S. digital payments company’s online wallets.
The official statement also said that customers will also be able to use cryptocurrencies to shop at the 26 million merchants on its network starting in early 2021.
PayPal’s President and Chief Executive Dan Schulman said in an interview that the company is also preparing their network for new digital currencies that may be developed by central banks and corporations.
“We are working with central banks and thinking of all forms of digital currencies and how PayPal can play a role,” Schulman said.
In the coming weeks, U.S. account holders will be able to buy, sell and hold cryptocurrencies in their PayPal wallets over the coming weeks, with plans to expand to Venmo and other countries in the first half of 2021.
PayPal now join Square Inc and Robinhood in allowing users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies, and with over 346 million active accounts globally and $222 billion in payments processed in 2020’s second quarter, this is a noteworthy move for the cryptoasset industry.
Cryptocurrencies have been less appealing to merchants and shoppers in the industry’s early years, with transactions being slower and more costly than standard payment systems.
Crypto payments on PayPal will be settled using fiat currencies, such as the U.S. dollar, meaning merchants will not receive the payment in cryptocurrency, the company said.
The payment processing giant secured the first conditional cryptocurrency license from the New York State Department of Financial Services, and will initially allow purchases of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin, it said.
It partners with Paxos Trust Company to offer the service.