PayPal is expanding into the cryptocurrency management market, the company announced today. The move comes in response to increasing interest from consumers and central banks in digital currencies, and it will allow PayPal users to buy, hold, and sell cryptocurrencies within PayPal. What's more, the firm plans to go further by allowing cryptocurrencies to serve as funds for purchases on merchants that already support PayPal payments.
PayPal cites a survey by the Bank for International Settlements, saying that one in ten central banks plan to launch their own digital currency in the next three years. Dan Schulman, president and CEO of PayPal, said:
"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 (...). 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. We are eager to work with central banks and regulators around the world to offer our support, and to meaningfully contribute to shaping the role that digital currencies will play in the future of global finance and commerce."
PayPal will start enabling cryptocurrency management for users in the United States in the next few weeks. To start, users will be able to manage some of the most popular cryptocurrencies - Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin. PayPal plans to expand the capability to its Venmo service in the first half of next year, and it will also enable cryptocurrencies to be used for payments in early 2021. Cryptocurrency management should also expand to other markets next year.
Through the end of the year, buying and selling cryptocurrencies won't have any cost, and simply holding cryptocurrencies won't carry fees in general. PayPal is also going to provide users with educational content so they can understand how cryptocurrencies work, as well as the risks and opportunities attached to them.
If you live in the United States and you're interested in the feature, you can join the waitlist using this link.