In 2019, the founding CEO of PayPal, Bill Harris referred to bitcoin as a scam, claiming that it has no inherent value. Almost a year later, the tables turned. PayPal started its foray into the cryptocurrency markets, announcing that its users will now be able to buy, hold and sell bitcoin and altcoins. This quickly became one of the biggest news in the crypto markets in recent times. On the announcement, PayPal stock (PYPL) surged upwards, while Bitcoin started a bullish trend.
Aside from the effect of this major news on the financial markets, what does the adoption of crypto by PayPal spell for the industry?
It is known that one of the limiting factors to mainstream adoption is awareness, and this problem is multifaceted. While many share the same view with Bill Harris, others are completely in the dark on the benefits of cryptocurrencies or even their existence. Whichever the case may be, we must put more effort into ensuring usability and awareness of crypto in order to attain the age-long goal of mass adoption.
PayPal’s recent move does justice to both. Its presence in over 200 countries and 305 million active users outweighs the 35 million identity-verified crypto users worldwide. This implies that more people now have the option of buying, holding, and selling bitcoin. Users can also make purchases from PayPal’s network of over 26 million merchants using their cryptocurrency holdings from 2021.
In the coming years, many crypto enthusiasts hope to see more features on Paypal that will further facilitate the utility and adoption of bitcoin. One of such features is the ability to transfer cryptocurrency. This will undoubtedly provide a way out for over 2 billion people worldwide with no access to conventional banking services. Existing PayPal users can also use a crypto transfer option to bypass the $10,000 transfer limit on the platform.
Another way the crypto space can hugely benefit from the launching of crypto services on PayPal is by capitalizing on the hype to create more awareness; after all, some positive news to quell the dreadful image created by some section of the media won’t hurt. The reputation of PayPal in fintech can be leveraged to redeem the global perspective of cryptocurrencies. Hopefully, more people can see beyond the flaws as we strive to usher in a new era characterized by mass cryptocurrency adoption.