Payments giant PayPal says it’s receiving far more interest in its support for Bitcoin and cryptocurrency than expected.
In its Q3 earnings call, PayPal CEO Dan Schulman says customers are signing up to be the first to use the company’s crypto services at a surprising rate.
“It really came up very high on their wish list and we are seeing that come into fruition very quickly. Now we’ve only rolled this out to 10% of our base. We did that a couple of days ago, but our waiting list was 2 times to 3 times of what our expectations were.”
PayPal is already allowing about 10% of its customer base to buy, sell and hold BTC, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin, with a full-scale Venmo rollout coming next year.
“We’re going to take up our $10,000 limit per day to $15,000 per day based on the demand that we’re seeing and we’ll roll out to 100% in the U.S. in the next two to three weeks.
We’re then going to expand internationally and we’ll expand into Venmo in the first half of next year. So that’s what we’re starting off with. What – and we’re seeing people who’ve already bought crypto, open their wallets several times a day to check on what’s happening with their crypto investments.
We’re beginning to already see some halo effects that go on with that. But what I’m really excited about is what we’re going to introduce next year, which is, I think, going to dramatically increase the utility of cryptocurrencies by enabling somebody who holds a cryptocurrency in a PayPal account to instantaneously transfer that crypto into fiat currency at a step rate, so volatility is taken out of the equation, no incremental fees charged for them to do that transaction from crypto into a fiat. And then immediately settle in fiat with all $28 million of our merchants at our current take rates and so you have no additional integration needed at any of our merchants. And this is just an elegant way of using cryptocurrencies as a funding mechanism.”
In addition to its crypto efforts, Schulman says PayPal is now pushing to support an overall global pivot to digital currency.
“Clearly, the world is rapidly moving from physical to digital and that’s so true for payments and financial services. My conversations with central banks, with the regulators, with a number of folks in the crypto field, there’s no question that digital currencies are going to be rising in importance, having increasing functionality and increasing prominence. CBDCs, from my perspective and all my conversations, are a matter of when and how they’re done, not if. And I think that our platform, with its digital wallets and the scale that we have right now, can help shape the utility of those currencies.
That can range from interoperability between wallets, between the currencies themselves, and importantly, into our network of merchants for commerce. And I do think that our platform and all the new digital infrastructure that we’re putting in place right now can help make that management and movement of money more efficient and less expensive and faster. Just in terms of what we’ve introduced with buy, hold, sell, did a lot of research on that. Our base is very eager for us to offer these capabilities…
But I see a lot of interesting things we can do with cryptocurrencies, with functionality, increasing functionality. And again, working hand-in-hand with regulators every step of the way, which is so important and what they expect from us in order to be a market leader in the digital currency space.”
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