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A central figure in PayPal’s early days has said the company set out to do what cryptocurrency is now doing for payments.
Former PayPal COO David Sacks has said cryptocurrency is “fulfilling PayPal’s original vision” to “create ‘the new world currency.’”
In an interview with CNBC, Sacks, who worked with the payment network in its early days around the year 2000, said there were strong comparisons between the current Blockchain scene and the dot-com boom of the 1990s.
“For those of us who lived through the dot-com era, this feels reminiscent. You have some of the same speculative excess and random enrichment,” he told the publication.
“But you can also feel that something revolutionary is happening. Money is being made programmable. That's a fundamental change with implications we can still barely see.”
PayPal hit the news regarding cryptocurrency for less favorable reasons this week as Bitcoin overtook the company’s $70 bln market cap for the first time in history.
During its early years, however, Sacks says the plan all along was to freeze out the banking sector from payments.
“We added features like interest and debit cards so you'd never have to withdraw funds to the legacy banking system. When we got acquired by eBay, that project kind of stopped,” he explained.
“But cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are now fulfilling that original vision. They are doing it in a decentralized way (with a decentralized database called the Blockchain) whereas PayPal tried to do it in a centralized way.”
The comments were warmly received on social media from a community traditionally hostile towards PayPal’s purported business ideals.
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