During PayPal’s Quarter 1 2021 investor update call, president and CEO Dan Schulman said digital assets had performed strongly for the company and that he believes crypto and central bank digital currencies will be a driving force in forging “a more equitable financial system.”
Following the success of PayPal’s move to embrace crypto assets, much of the call centered around the firm’s recent and future plans for digital assets.
“We believe the current technological underpinnings of our financial system will be substantially upgraded over the coming years,” Schulman said, adding this would help efforts to recover from the pandemic:
“Both cryptocurrency and central bank-issued digital currencies can play a critical role in shaping a more inclusive recovery and a more equitable financial system.”
The CEO stated the payments provider has an extensive crypto roadmap planned, noting its digital asset innovations will be pursued “in partnership with governments and in compliance with local, national and global regulatory frameworks.”
“We’ve got a tremendous amount of really great results going on tactically with our crypto efforts,” he added.
The firm’s shares rose by more than 5% on Wednesday in response to the earnings update after PayPal revealed its per-share earnings had outperformed expectations by more than 20%, coming in at $1.22 each adjusted. PayPal’s $6.03 billion in revenue also exceeded predictions by 2%.
Total payment volume was $20 billion more than expected, finishing the quarter at $285 billion. The firm also added 14.5 million new active accounts, bringing its user base to 392 million.
Schulman asserted PayPal’s adoption of digital assets “has been widely embraced,” noting productive conversations with “central banks, regulators and government officials around the world.”
The firm described its adoption of digital assets as bolstering the utility for cryptocurrency by enabling “millions of merchants around the globe” to accept crypto payments. However, transactions made in digital assets within PayPal’s merchant network are currently settled in fiat currency.
PayPal’s Venmo app also introduced buy, hold and sell capabilities last month. PayPal noted that its “2020 Venmo Customer Behavior Study” found that 30% of customers had already begun purchasing crypto assets, 20% of whom began buying amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Schulman also noted the firm closed its acquisition of crypto asset custodian, Curv, last month, stating: “Curv’s talented team will bolster our existing technology resources and accelerate our efforts to shape a new financial infrastructure that is efficient, low cost and inclusive.”