As you can see by the title this is huge news in terms of Bitcoin adaptation. PayPal which 10 years ago froze funds of accounts associated with Wikileaks which later moved from them to Bitcoin as a way to receive funds is now making a huge move. The two companies together holding around 375 Million users worldwide are rolling out plans to buy and sell crypto assets.
Three sources have stated on-the-record that PayPal/Venmo will offer direct purchases and sales of crypto-assets to consumers, and will have in-app wallet functionality. They’re working with “multiple exchanges to source liquidity” and the service may be available “in the next three months.” PayPal and Venmo haven’t officially confirmed or denied.
We are a strong believer in the potential of blockchain, how the technology itself can contribute to the concept of creating an open digital payments platform that can serve everyone.”PayPal CTO Sri Shivananda
PayPal was one of the first consumer electronic payments platforms. Over two decades after its inception, the resilient but archaic fintech giant is starting to adopt the very technology that was created to disrupt money— Bitcoin.
Why it matters?
PayPal and Venmo are the latest fintech incumbents to offer Bitcoin buys and sells, following in the footsteps of Cash App and Robinhood. Cash App and RH both offer other investment products and enable users to buy and sell stocks/equities. Venmo and PayPal, however, are primarily used only for payments and don’t currently offer any investment services. Depending on how it plays out, payment platforms offering Bitcoin support may shine a light on its use case for cross-border finance, not just as a long-term investment.
Venmo is a household name in the US— “just Venmo me” has weaseled its way into everyday vernacular. In fact, it’s the biggest financial institution in terms of active digital users. Venmo offering Bitcoin support brings Bitcoin to millions of tech-savvy consumers, many of whom are Millennials that Bitcoin appeals to.
Which assets will be supported? Jack Dorsey, and by extension— Cash App, is Bitcoin-only. Coinbase is more focused on blockchain holistically, supporting over 23 different crypto-assets in the US including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin. PayPal CTO Sri Shivananda’s remarks seemed more focused on advancing blockchain technology as a whole, but it will be interesting to see which path PayPal and Venmo take.