Early this week, PayPal began allowing cryptocurrency payments through its platform. The company has been on track to become a major haven for crypto-related activity since October of last year, and the platform’s goals just got much more serious.
PayPal Says “Yes” To Digital Currency Payments
While the service isn’t available to everyone just yet, many of PayPal’s users – when they purchase items – will be given several payment options when it’s time to check out, some of which will be various cryptocurrencies. Thus far, PayPal is allowing payments in bitcoin (BTC), Litecoin (LTC), Ethereum (ETH) and bitcoin cash (BCH).
PayPal CEO Dan Schulman explained in a recent blog post:
As the use of digital payments and digital currencies accelerates, the introduction of Checkout with Crypto continues our focus on driving mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies. Enabling cryptocurrencies to make purchases at businesses around the world is the next chapter in driving the ubiquity and mass acceptance of digital currencies.
The company first announced last October that people would be able to purchase and trade digital assets through its platform, making it the equivalent of Coinbase or Binance. While there were plans to ultimately permit crypto payments in the coming months, this move hadn’t yet been cemented in stone. Nevertheless, the news was met with widespread positivity from both crypto fans and analysts and bitcoin – which had been trading for about $10,000 per unit prior – immediately went up to roughly $13,000.
The move also plays homage to the original ideals and goals set out for bitcoin and its many competing altcoin cousins. As it stands, several digital currencies – when they were first created – were designed to operate as payment coins. In other words, they were meant to ultimately push fiat currencies and credit cards out of the way and be used as methods of payment for goods and services.
While they have done quite well as speculative assets and even as stores of value in some cases, the reality of bitcoin or some other cryptocurrency serving as a payment method has been difficult to establish given how many companies have turned their backs on them. Many of these assets suffer from ongoing volatility, which means companies don’t want to run the risk of potentially losing profit should a person use a digital currency to pay for an item.
Making the Conversion Easy
If you pay for $50 worth of merchandise with BTC but tomorrow the price goes down and that $50 becomes $30, you’ll walk away with everything you bought, but the retailer has lost $20.
However, things are a little different this time in that the hard work is laid on PayPal’s shoulders. The payment giant says it will convert all cryptocurrency into fiat at the time of checkout, so the accepting merchant does not lose out. This is a win-win situation for all in that crypto fans can finally use their assets for something, and companies don’t miss out on business.