One of the most talked about topics in the crypto community recently was PayPal’s announcement that its customers can buy and sell cryptocurrencies. The service is expected to be fully rolled out early next year.
The company’s goal, cited in its press release, to “improve consumer understanding and adoption of cryptocurrency” appears to be a necessary step in popularizing cryptocurrencies. The general awareness of crypto is still very low. According to a Statista survey, Bitcoin (BTC) use is below 10% in countries with developed economies, with the lowest values being in Sweden, Denmark and Japan. Meanwhile, some optimistically predict that number will rise to 90% of the US population by 2030.
Connected: With PayPal’s crypto integration, Bitcoin could triple its user base
PayPal President and CEO Dan Schulman said, “The move to digital currency is inevitable and has clear benefits in terms of financial inclusion and access. Efficiency, speed and resilience of the payment system; and the ability of governments to quickly distribute funds to citizens. “Similarly, former Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat told the United Nations General Assembly in 2018 that cryptocurrencies were the” inevitable future of money. ”
Connected: PayPal’s small steps into cryptography do not dampen the hype surrounding adoption
PayPal will initially offer its services to users with Bitcoin, Ether (ETH), Litecoin (LTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH). The company has acquired from the New York State Department of Financial Services what it believes is a “first-of-its-kind” conditional BitLicense – a license required to operate a digital currency business in New York – and partnered with US-based stablecoin operator Paxos to enable this service for its customers.
Given that PayPal reported 346 million active users in the second quarter of 2020 – a number that rose to 361 million in the third quarter according to the latest quarterly report – the decision to offer cryptocurrency-related services to its customers seems to be falling be a significant step towards mainstream adoption. Last year, Cointelegraph asked experts from the crypto and blockchain industry for their opinion on the introduction of crypto masses. This time the question was: Could PayPal’s recent announcement that it will offer crypto payments possibly force the mass adoption of crypto?
Cristina Dolan, Founder and CEO of InsideChains and Vice Chairman of the MIT Enterprise Forum:
“This is a very exciting announcement that will help increase the adoption of crypto for traditional value transfers or payments by offering a simple and integrated solution to the 346 million active PayPal users. The hardest part of using crypto for payments is turning the crypto blockchain networks on and off using key pairs to make a payment or transfer. Reducing this friction at the point of transaction makes it easier to integrate into simple value transfer use cases and therefore makes them less intimidating. This can even increase the speed of crypto and bitcoin spending across the network while increasing perceived ease of use and value as a currency rather than just a store of value. PayPal dominates payment processing, but integrating crypto can also attract new customers. “
Dominik Schiener, Co-founder of the IOTA Foundation:
“Since nothing changes at the merchant end of these transactions, the takeover is currently taking place on the user side. PayPal, which is adding crypto as an option for users, speaks for a future where both ends of the transaction are concerned with crypto, which is very exciting for our rollout. This will ultimately lead to mass adoption as well as a new payment method between users and merchants, but also smart devices and smart cities. As more and more payment platforms accept crypto, awareness will lead to increased networking with IoT technology. Crypto will eventually become a part of our daily lives as more companies use it for machine-to-machine payments, for example, or our cars use autonomous payments for tolls, fees and other services. Crypto transactions offer more options for touchless payments where our devices can do the end-to-end transaction and we can keep our cards in our wallets. “
Jay Hao, CEO of OKEx:
“PayPal’s move to offer cryptocurrency services is extremely optimistic. however, it does not, by itself, signal immediate mass adoption by them. What we are seeing, which is a very important fundamental change, is the normalization of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and their legitimation by institutions and large household companies. PayPal will offer these services to its US customers. With around 350 million customers around the world, this is a big step towards greater awareness and acceptance. Of course, this doesn’t mean that everyone will buy Bitcoin, but as adoption increases, especially against the backdrop of an economic crisis where fiat currencies are losing their purchasing power, more market participants will of course come into the market. I think many payment giants and tech companies like PayPal are also seeing how things are going and that they need to join in or be run over by it. I anticipate that the trend and over the course of 2021 will result in more companies like PayPal, fintechs, hedge funds, brokers, and banks offering cryptocurrency services, regardless of whether this is the option to buy them or offer custody services. All in all, the outlook is very promising, but we may have to wait a while before we can say that “mass adoption” has been achieved. “
Jimmy Song, Instructor at Programming Blockchain:
“The only thing“ forcing ”the adoption of bitcoin is the collapse of fiat money, which is not yet happening. PayPal’s announcement gives people an additional way to buy bitcoin to store value or buy altcoins to play – that’s it. “
Mati Greenspan, Founder of Quantum Economics:
“Yes. This move is likely a great boon for the introduction of cryptocurrencies in real-world payments. Millions of people who prefer to pay with crypto are always looking for new providers to accept them. PayPal now effectively adds 22 million merchants to this list and opens the door to its 300 million+ active customers. The immediate impact may be less depending on the level at which PayPal allows customers to move crypto inside and outside their website, but in the long run, users will experience the tremendous benefits of using it Understanding digital assets and realizing that they can now transfer value without the need for a third party, so in a sense PayPal is sowing the seeds of its own destruction. “
Roger Ver, CEO of Bitcoin.com:
“Of course, a platform with over 300 million active users will help drive the adoption of crypto masses. Of the four cryptocurrencies PayPal has added, it is the most optimistic about Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin as these are the only ones that can currently be used for payments in the chain. “
These quotes have been edited and compressed.
The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed are the sole rights of the authors and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.