PayPal Holdings Inc – a digital payments platform popular in the US and worldwide announced Wednesday it will allow customers to buy, sell, and hold Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies on its online wallet.
According to the announcement, the new feature will initially support four coins – Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), BitcoinCash (BCH), and Litecoin (LTC); with an initial roll out of the service for United States only.
Interestingly, the new service will also enable PayPal users to shop using cryptocurrencies at over 26 million merchants on its large network; pitching BTC as a payment instrument.
This latest development brings Bitcoin and cryptocurrency to a more global audience courtesy of PayPal’s 346 million active accounts around the world and over $222 billion in payments processed in Q2 of 2020.
After its early anti-crypto stance, PayPal has now join a growing list of big U.S. companies looking to either hold, trade, or offer crypto custody services to their customers.
Speaking on the announcement, President and Chief Executive of PayPal – Dan Schulman says the service will encourage global use of virtual coins and prepare its network for new digital currencies to be issued by central banks and companies.
“We are working with central banks and thinking of all forms of digital currencies and how PayPal can play a role,” he said.
PayPal notes that the service will allow U.S. account holders to buy, sell and hold cryptocurrencies in their PayPal wallets over the coming weeks; with further expansion of the feature to its peer-to-peer payment app Venmo and other selected countries in the first half of 2021.
In response to the big announcement, Bitcoin rose by 4% to $12,494; with a further push to $13,200 later in the day; as bullish sentiment filled the cryptocurrency market.
At this time, Bitcoin is up 75% since the start of the year 2020.