One of the biggest names in crypto news at the moment is Elon Musk, with the February announcement that his major corporation Tesla, Inc. had bought $1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin, with further plans in place for Tesla consumers to purchase Musks’ products in Bitcoin in the near future. The days following this announcement and Musks’ adoption of the #Bitcoin tag on his Twitter biography, led the prices of Bitcoin to surge.
With Musk being a “supporter of Bitcoin” it was a matter of time until another one of his founding companies – PayPal Holdings Inc. – followed suit. Yesterday, 30 March, PayPal officially launched its Crypto Checkout Service whereby American consumers can make cryptocurrency purchases at PayPal’s 29 million global merchants.
The way PayPal’s Checkout with Crypto works is, consumers who obtain one of the following cryptocurrencies; Bitcoin, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Ether, can conveniently convert their cryptocurrencies into fiat currencies at check out when purchasing goods from a PayPal merchant, with no transaction fees.
Bitcoin can be seen as a circumvent against inflation and its popularity is ever-growing. Bitcoin’s value has almost doubled since the beginning of 2021, and we are seeing global financial conglomerates rally to adopt cryptocurrency purchases, with PayPal now being one of the largest.
President and CEO of PayPal Holdings Inc, Dan Schulman, is also a personal fan of Bitcoin and used Checkout with Crypto to purchase new ostrich cowboy boots, making him the proud owner of the first-ever pair of cowboy boots to be purchased in Bitcoin through PayPal.
Commenting on the launch of Checkout with Crypto, Dan Schulman says: “This is the first time you can seamlessly use cryptocurrencies in the same way as a credit card or a debit card inside your PayPal wallet.”
PayPal’s method of purchasing goods with Bitcoin may change the game for cryptocurrency and see more people adopt it. Bitcoin has a way to go before it is considered a common payment method owing to its continued volatility. But with PayPal’s conversion of it into fiat currencies at checkout will prevent merchants from being affected by the volatility of Bitcoin.
“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,” continues Schulman.
The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a monumentally rapid adoption of digital payment technologies. This adoption rate ordinarily could have taken up to five years to reach should the pandemic not have hit the global market. The time is now for the financial service sector to reshape their strategies to enable the use of cryptocurrency transactions as it steadily being more recognized around the world and boasts instant, low cost, efficient, and secure transactions.
PayPal is a renowned company, but it is not the first payment app to enable cryptocurrency payments. In 2018 already, its competitor, Square, launched its Support for Bitcoin platform on its Cash App. Despite this, PayPal is now both a cryptocurrency exchange and prominent digital wallet which could see mass influence in its hundreds of millions of active users.