PayPal is launching support for U.S. customers to trade and hold cryptocurrency and to use it as a funding source for retail purchases. The payments processing company has expedited plans for global expansion as it looks to catch the first big wave of future digital public currencies.
Customers with PayPal-brand accounts will be able to buy, hold, and sell Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Litecoin to start with. The company is running a soft launch right now — interested readers can join the waitlist through the press release here. PayPal will not charge service fees through December 31.
U.S. accounts on its subsidiary app Venmo and PayPal customers in other countries will get a crack at using crypto in the first half of 2021. Also in early 2021, cryptocurrencies will be accepted as a funding source for real-world purchases though they will be converted into fiat currency prior to transaction. As such, merchants won’t need to pay additional fees on sales for now, though it’s uncertain whether that will be the case for any potential full-crypto sales later on.
PayPal has partnered with New York-based Paxos Trust to broker trades. It has also obtained a Bitlicense from the New York Department of Financial Services which mandated some of the company’s operation parameters.
As of noon PDT, PYPL stock is up more than 5.6% while Bitcoin’s value spiked more than 4% since the announcement.