PayPal announced that it has begun allowing US consumers to use cryptocurrencies to pay millions of its online merchants globally through its Checkout with Crypto feature, a move that could significantly enhance the use of digital assets in everyday commerce.
The company said: Customers who own Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin in PayPal digital wallets will now be able to convert them into fiat currencies when making Checkout with Crypto purchases.
The company said: The service, which PayPal revealed that it was working on late last year, will be available to all of its 29 million merchants in the coming months.
Dan Schulman, President and CEO (Dan Schulman) said: This is the first time that you can seamlessly use cryptocurrencies in the same way as using a credit or debit card inside the PayPal wallet.
Checkout with Crypto is based on PayPal’s ability to buy, sell and hold cryptocurrencies, which the payments company launched in October.
The offer made PayPal one of the major financial firms opening its network of cryptocurrencies and helped drive the price of cryptocurrencies even higher.
Bitcoin has nearly doubled in value since the start of this year, buoyed by increased interest from major financial firms that are betting on adopting it more and viewing it as a hedge against inflation.
The launch of PayPal comes less than a week after Tesla announced that it was starting to accept Bitcoin payments for its cars.
And unlike PayPal transactions, where merchants receive paper currency, Tesla said it is keeping Bitcoin used as a method of payment.
While the digital asset is gaining momentum amongst major investors, it has not yet become a popular form of payment, in part because of its continued volatility.
PayPal hopes its service can change that, by settling the transaction in fiat currency, so that merchants will not assume the risk of volatility.
“We believe it is a transitional point as cryptocurrencies move from the category of assets that you buy, hold or sell mostly to becoming a source of funding for conducting real-world transactions with millions of merchants,” Schulman said.
The company clarified that it will not charge any transaction fees when paying in cryptocurrencies, and only one type of currency can be used for each purchase.