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PayPal to Allow People to Purchase Crypto

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Digital payments company PayPal is planning to start facilitating direct crypto sales to its 325 million of users, per a report by CoinDesk. The publication says it spoke to three people familiar with the issue. 

A ‘well-placed’ source also told the publication: ‘My understanding is that they are going to allow buys and sells of crypto directly from PayPal and Venmo. they are going to have some sort of a built-in wallet functionality so you can store it there.” Another source confirmed the move is expected “in the next three months, maybe sooner.”

Which Cryptocurrencies Will be Listed? 

As of yet, it’s not clear which or how many cryptos will be listed. The source told CoinDesk that PayPal would likely “be working with multiple exchanges to source liquidity.” Luxembourg-based exchange Bitstamp and America’s largest exchange Coinbase are thought to be likely contenders, but both declined to comment. 

Venmo competitor Cash appSquare Inc. (S.Q.) currently lists only Bitcoin, while popular trading app Robinhood lists several cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Dogecoin. PayPal is set to see an increase in revenue after the move. After Cash App listed Bitcoin, the company reported to shareholders that revenue from the currency surpassed Fiat revenue for the first time. 

Dipping the Feet Deeper

If the news is true, it represents a step further in PayPal’s relationship with the crypto ecosystem – which started in 2014 after the company initiated partnerships with Coinbase and two other crypto payment processors. From 2018, Coinbase enabled instant Fiat withdrawals to PayPal for U.S. customers, while this functionality was enabled for European and Canada’s Coinbase users in 2019.

PayPal’s Blockchain Perspective

PayPal indicated its interest in crypto and blockchain as early as the beginning of this year. The company’s Chief Technology Officer Sri Shinavanda confirmed this to CoinDesk, saying the company would establish its own “perspective and view on [blockchain] technology itself to see how it can help us contribute to the concept of creating an open digital payments platform that can serve everyone,” adding “We are a strong believer in the potential of blockchain. The digitization of currency is only a matter of when not if.” 

The Crypto Community’s Reaction

Owing to PayPal’s popularity in the payments space, the news meant a great deal to the crypto community. Twitter was awash with excited reactions. 

The Wolf of All Stress tweeted:” If PayPal and Venmo are truly entering crypto, then this is arguably the most bullish news that we have seen in the space…ever.”

Crypto YouTuber Lark Davis said: ” If confirmed true, this is beyond big. The coming bull run will be insane.” 

Crypto analyst Ryan Watkins tweeted: “PayPal is planning to roll-out crypto purchases in the next three months. PayPal has 325 million users. then who is the largest consumer finance app in the U.S. As  Paul Tudor Jones said, Bull markets are built on an ever-expanding universe of buyers.” 

Other Twitter users pointed out the irony in PayPal offering direct crypto sales, considering its WikiLeaks saga ten years ago that helped push the demand for Bitcoin. 

Bitcoin researcher Jimmy Song chimed in, reminding Twitterati that ten years ago, PayPal froze WikiLeaks’ account, which prompted a push towards Bitcoin as a donation medium. “PayPal going to allow people to buy #Bitcoin. PayPal is the company that froze a WikiLeaks account and put #Bitcoin on the map back in 2010. only took a decade for this to come full circle.” 

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