PayPal announced Tuesday it has started to offer U.S. consumers the ability to use its cryptocurrency holdings to pay at millions of its online merchants around the world, in what could be the biggest push yet for the payments service to bring digital assets into its payments system for daily purchases.
PayPal’s new “Checkout with Crypto” will allow customers who hold bitcoin, litecoin, ether, and bitcoin cash in its virtual wallets to convert their holdings into fiat currencies and make purchases, the company said.
The service will be available at all of its nearly 30 million merchants in the next few months.
Crypto as a form of payment
PayPal unveiled plans in 2020 to enable users to acquire and sell digital currencies on its payment platform in a move it hoped would provide a “meaningful contribution to shaping the role that cryptocurrencies will play in the future of global finance and commerce.”
If a merchant does not take U.S. dollars, PayPal will convert the greenback into local currency at standard conversion rates set by the payments service.
The new feature will automatically appear in the PayPal wallet if a user has a “sufficient cryptocurrency balance” to cover a valid purchase.
According to PayPal President and chief executive officer Dan Schulman, the offering “is the first time you can seamlessly use cryptocurrencies in the same way as a credit card or a debit card inside your PayPal wallet,” Reuters reported.
Paypal shares up 1.1%
Shares of the San Jose, California company rose 1.1% during the early morning session after news of the new virtual currency purchase feature, indicating an opening price of $238.30 apiece.
Prices of Bitcoin (BTC) inched 2.5% higher during the trading at $59,091.90 each, stretching their year-to-date rise to roughly 101%.
PayPal isn’t the first payment app to provide support for digital currency. Square, its rival, launched support for Bitcoin on the Cash App in 2018.
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