One of the biggest catalysts for the price of Bitcoin in October has been the announcement of PayPal entering the crypto space by offering Bitcoin, and other coin, services. These services are reported to be available in early 2021, however, it seems some may have early access.
Circle, a similar service provider to PayPal and somewhat of a rival, has had its CEO Tweet out an alleged screenshot of a Bitcoin purchase on PayPal. Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire tweeted a screenshot of an apparent $100 purchase of Bitcoin using the service, adding: “Bought $100 in BTC on @PayPal! Great milestone for the market!”
Allaire did not clarify how he had accessed the service prior to its official rollout, nor specify whether he had a promotional arrangement with PayPal to use and advertise the forthcoming service.
One of the original FinTech services, PayPal has always been a major player in terms of digital transactions. However, the platform first expressed distrust of Bitcoin when it first rose to prominence but edged away from that with an interest in blockchain.
Bill Harris, founding CEO of Paypal, said Bitcoin has “no value”, and claimed it is part of a huge ‘pump-and-dump’ scheme, in 2018 Bitcoin targets ill-informed buyers “caught up in the spiral of greed”, according to Harris, leading to a huge shift of wealth from ordinary families to internet scammers.”
However, as the space has grown and matured, it seems that it has become impossible to ignore Bitcoin any longer — also given that the space has looked to address its issues and become more regulated and controlled.
In fact, PayPal offering a Bitcoin service further pushes the narrative that Bitcoin is variable and safe and can be sought from reputable and well established digital payments companies.
Normalising a new way
As of Q2 2020, PayPal had over 346 million active accounts and processed $222 billion in volume. Crypto payments will be supported by its estimated network of 26 million merchants around the globe as of 2021 and thus make the new digital asset far more available.
Bitcoin has been growing in terms of adoption, but has failed to take off as a new payments method for a number of reasons. One is the general retail adoption and usability of the coin, but this move by PayPal could turn things around.