PayPal has announced that it will now support the exchange of cryptocurrencies between users, effectively turning the platform into a full-featured cryptocurrency wallet.
Previously, PayPal users could only buy, sell, hold and pay using popular cryptocurrencies – and only in select countries like the US and UK.
But the latest update introduces the ability for US users to send and receive cryptocurrencies, transfer coins to PayPal from third-party exchanges, and move coins to external wallets.
PayPal Goes Big on Crypto
PayPal first announced its foray into the world of cryptocurrencies in October 2020, when it granted US customers the ability to store select crypto tokens (including Bitcoin, Ether, and Litecoin) in their accounts.
At the time, the company cited opportunities around financial inclusion as the main reason for the initiative, as well as the ambition to increase the usefulness of cryptocurrencies in the context of e-commerce.
In August 2021, the payments giant extended its cryptocurrency offering for users in the UK, following positive feedback from users on domestic soil.
The latest update may mark a tipping point for PayPal, which has previously tried to isolate its crypto services by limiting the opportunity to freely switch holdings.
“Enabling PayPal customers the flexibility to move their cryptographic assets into, out of, and within our PayPal platform reflects the ongoing evolution of our cutting-edge platform and allows customers to interact with the broader crypto ecosystem,” wrote Jose Fernandez of Ponte, which leads the cryptocurrency initiative at PayPal.
“We are excited to connect PayPal customers with other wallets, exchanges and apps, and we will continue to release additional crypto features, products and services in the coming months.”
Fernandez da Ponte also announced that PayPal has been granted a full Bitlicense license by the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS), which he described as a demonstration of the company’s commitment to all regulatory guidelines that apply to its trading in the crypto space. .
The decision to push the industry further comes amid a sharp drop in the price of all major cryptocurrencies, caused in part by the decoupling of various stablecoins from their respective pins, which has wiped out billions of dollars in value. Below an all-time high of $68,990/unit in November 2021, Bitcoin is currently trading at around $31,000 per coin.