It’s been a few years since the cryptocurrency market exploded, then settled back down like a loaf of bread that’s only nominally appealing. But PayPal, one of the web’s most frequent methods of payment and a go-to for secondary markets like eBay, is still interested. The company announced that it’s going to support cryptocurrency starting next year.
The company said that users will be able to use cryptocurrencies at standard merchants that accept PayPal as a form of payment as well as hold cryptocurrencies in their accounts and transfer between users. The wallet functions will be activated “in the coming weeks,” but it’ll take until 2021 for the service to start working with standard retailers, and for the functions to expand to PayPal subsidiary Venmo.
Initially, PayPal intends to support Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, and Etherium, with more support being added later. Since cryptocurrency value fluctuates rapidly, merchants will be paid in equivalent dollars or local currency based on the current market value, with PayPal itself performing the transfer. Merchants will see standard currency transferred to their accounts, not cryptocurrency.
With PayPal accepting payments in cryptocurrency and paying out conventional money, not to mention its position as one of the most widely accepted forms of payment on the planet, the company could quickly become one of the most powerful players in the still-volatile cryptocurrency market.