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PayPal Might Be Considering Introducing Direct Crypto Transactions

The huge success seen by Jack Dorsey’s Cash App has certainly put cryptocurrencies into the minds of other large payment processors, but few seem to be brave enough to dive into the world of digital assets.

Bitcoin drove half of the revenue in the fourth quarter of 2019 for Cash App. The payment platforms which currently do not support Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are realising they are missing on a great opportunity.

That is, until now.

According to the latest reports, one of the largest payment processors in the world, PayPal, is mulling introducing crypto payments and purchases. This could be a significant move for the company, which has found itself on the receiving end of numerous controversies regarding censorship, centralization, and its overall business practice. 

The news, while major, is still nothing more than rumors. Three people familiar with the matter, whose identities remain unknown, have reached out to CoinDesk and shared information still unavailable to the public. PayPal, according to those sources, plans on rolling out direct sales of cryptocurrencies to its enormous user base, which at press time consists of around 325 million users.

One of the people familiar with the matter told reporters that he understood that users could be able to buy and sell cryptocurrencies directly from PayPal and its subsidiary Venmo. 

“They are going to have some sort of a built-in wallet functionality so you can store it there,” a source revealed. 

The source couldn’t tell how many cryptocurrencies would PayPal support. However, they noted that they did expect PayPal to work with multiple exchanges in order to source liquidity for the crypto purchases. 

This, according to the report, is in line with that other sources said. A second source confirmed that PayPal was, indeed, looking into offering crypto purchases on its platforms. The service could be rolled out in the next three months, or even sooner than that, they explained.

When it comes to the exchange PayPal could be working on, two names kept popping up—Coinbase and Bitstamp. Sources said that they were the most likely contenders for becoming the first exchanges to partner with PayPal, but none of the companies has commented on the speculations so far. 

Coinbase has a longstanding partnership with PayPal, being one of the handful of companies dealing with cryptocurrencies that offered its customers the ability to withdraw funds to their PayPal accounts. The two companies have been working together since 2016, with Coinbase introducing instant fiat withdrawals to PayPal for U.S. customers. Users in Europe in Canada also saw this feature introduced in 2019. 

Rumors of cryptocurrency integration in PayPal come months after the company began hiring experts in the blockchain domain. Earlier this year, the company announced on its website that it was hiring crypto engineers, with four positions each advertised for San Jose and Singapore. The company said it was looking for candidates that would be responsible for new global initiatives in PayPal, with their role including “designing, developing and maintaining key crypto products/features targeted towards availability, performance and scalability of PayPal services.”

PayPal is also currently hiring for Blockchain Research Engineers in San Jose, Mexico, and Canada as part of its Blockchain Research Group to explore blockchain technology’s potential use within Paypal.

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