Friday, December 4th, 2020
PayPal must have breathed new life to struggling cryptocurrencies when it announced that it would allow users to buy, sell, and carry digital currencies.
The service, scheduled to go live next year, is part of PayPal’s plans “to boost customer crypto awareness and usage,” according to a press release.
Widespread awareness of crypto stays low as figures by Statista show Bitcoin (BTC) adoption in developed economies pegs below 10%, with the situation worse in Sweden, Denmark, and Japan.
According to PayPal’s President and Chief Executive Dan Schulman, “the shift to digital currencies is inevitable, carrying clear benefits as regards to payment speed, financial inclusivity, and access as well as the payment systems resilience.”
But will PayPal’s launch of the crypto feature trigger mainstream adoption of digital currencies?
Here’s what experts have to say.
Mati Greenspan, founder of Quantum Economics:
“Yes. This is possibly a huge step for the adoption of cryptocurrencies in real-world payments. PayPal will open doors for the millions of individuals who prefer to pay with crypto and search for new vendors to onboard them. This crypto addition will welcome 22 million merchants while empowering over 300 million active users. At first, it may be slow, depending on the level at which PayPal allows for crypto transfer. But eventually, users will understand the many pros of digital assets and switch.”
Jay Hao, CEO of OKEx:
“PayPal’s invasion into crypto is a significant milestone for the sector, but that itself does point towards instant crowd adoption. Still, this marks the onset of the normalization of digital currencies like Bitcoin and mainstream acceptance. Though PayPal plans to begin with a U.S. rollout, with over 350 million users worldwide, this is a huge step towards more awareness and usage. Of course, that doesn’t mean people will pace towards the buying of Bitcoin. Still, as it enters the mainstream, specifically amid an economic crisis threatening the superiority of fiat currencies, new uses will naturally switch to digital currencies.”
Jimmy Song, an instructor at Programming Blockchain:
“The sole factor that could ‘force’ Bitcoin usage in the fall of fiat currencies, which is still far from happening. PayPal’s move offers consumers an extra oath to purchase Bitcoin — that’s it.”
Roger Ver, executive chairman of Bitcoin.com:
“Of course, with over 300 million users, PayPal can help drive crowd awareness and mainstream adoption. Of the four digital currencies included, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin will likely thrive because right now those are the only options consumers can use for on-chain payments.”