Online payments giant PayPal will start to accept cryptocurrency as a medium of exchange at its millions of global merchants, the firm’s president and CEO revealed on Tuesday ahead of a formal announcement.
News broke regarding PayPal’s rumored decision to accept cryptocurrencies early on March 30. Later in the day, the firm’s CEO, Dan Schulman, confirmed to Reuters that the rumors were true and that an official statement would be released imminently.
The new system is expected to feature a crypto checkout service where users can pay for goods and services at approved vendors using their stored coins. The system will reportedly see merchants receive equivalent funds directly in fiat currency after coins are subject to a quick transfer at the time of sale.
The checkout service is expected to be available for all four of PayPal’s supported cryptocurrencies upon launch, consisting of Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Litecoin (LTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH). Customers who pay with cryptocurrencies will incur no transaction fees on purchases, and only one coin can be used per purchase.
“We think it is a transitional point where cryptocurrencies move from being predominantly an asset class that you buy, hold and or sell to now becoming a legitimate funding source to make transactions in the real world at millions of merchants,” said Schulman, regarding the launch.
In October 2020, when PayPal’s intention to wade into the crypto space was first announced, Galaxy Digital CEO Mike Novogratz called it “the shot heard around the world” in regards to how Wall Street would receive the news. PayPal continued to make inroads into the industry in early March, when it acquired digital assets security firm Curv in a deal thought to be worth $200 million.
The PayPal news comes just 24 hours after Visa announced that it would pilot a new payments system using stablecoins on the Ethereum blockchain. The pilot will see participating merchants agree to settle customers’ fiat transactions using the USDC stablecoin.