PayPal’s chief executive believes cryptocurrencies are on the verge of mainstream adoption as more businesses and consumers flock to “digital payments and digital forms of currency.”
In an interview with CNBC, PayPal CEO Dan Schulman said the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the shift to digital forms of payments. PayPal wants to be at the forefront of the ongoing digital transformation.
Schulman said the “use of cash has declined precipitously” amid the pandemic, adding that “40 to 70% of consumers no longer want to handle cash.”
PayPal is not just making it easier for people to buy and hold cryptocurrencies; the service will integrate with existing merchant payments platforms, allowing businesses to accept digital forms of payment.
The PayPal executive said:
“One of the things that we allowed is not just making it easy to buy, sell and hold cryptocurrencies, but very importantly, early next year, we’re going to allow cryptocurrencies to be a funding source for any transaction happening on all 28 million of our merchants. And that will significantly bolster the utility of cryptocurrencies.”
PayPal consulted with global regulators and central banks before launching its crypto service. Schulman said it’s only a matter of time before these monetary authorities release their own central bank digital currencies, or CBDCs:
“It’s a matter of not if but when and how we’ll start to see more and more central banks issue forms of digital currencies. I think you’ll have more and more utility happen with cryptocurrency.”
PayPal launched its crypto trading services in the United States earlier this month, mere weeks after first announcing the new initiative. The services will be rolled out globally early next year.
The global payments merchant, which has over 300 million active users, has been buying up Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies at a rapid pace. As Cointelegraph recently reported, PayPal has bought nearly 70% of all the new Bitcoin in circulation. The supply shortage has been cited as a major reason for Bitcoin's rapid appreciation over the past month.
Some of Bitcoin’s most ardent detractors claim that the digital currency lacks inherent value. To that, Schulman said:
“All forms of money are based on trust and set values that come from that trust.”