Tuesday 30 March 2021 11:27 am

PayPal to allow US customers to use cryptocurrencies in online shopping

PayPal is set to allow its US customers to use their cryptocurrency assets to pay online, a move that may signal a shift towards digital currencies for online shopping.

Formally announcing the move later today, PayPal will allow customers to convert bitcoin, ether, bitcoin cash and litecoin into fiat currencies at checkouts, the company told Reuters.

The service will be available to 29m merchants in the coming months, after beginning work on the crypto project late last year.

“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,” president and CEO, Dan Schulman, told Reuters ahead of the official reveal.

There will be no transaction fee to checkout but only one type of cryptocurrency can be used for each purchase, PayPal said.

Digital asset holders will be able to buy, sell and hold cryptocurrencies through PayPal, which makes PayPal the most mainstream financial company to open its doors to the long-shunned currency.

Digital assets

Earlier this month, the Elon Musk owned payment network bought digital asset security company Curv, based in Israel.

The acquisition was designed to boost its cryptocurrency and digital asset capabilities, and is also expected to be completed in the first half of this year.

“Now, as the adoption of digital assets accelerates, we feel there’s no better home than PayPal to continue our journey of innovation,” Curv founder and CEO, Itay Malinger, said at the start of March.

It comes less than a week after Tesla confirmed it will start accepting bitcoin as payments for its cars.

However, unlike the PayPal transactions where merchants will be receiving fiat currency, Tesla said it will keep the bitcoin used as payment.

Bitcoin has nearly doubled in value since the turn of the year, dipping in and out of headlines and Musk’s Twitter page.

“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,” Schulman added.