PayPal announced it would begin supporting cryptocurrencies for the first time, allowing any PayPal account holder to store, buy, and sell popular virtual currencies starting later this year. The announcement makes PayPal arguably the most significant company in the financial tech sector to adopt support for virtual currencies.
PayPal competitor Square launched support for bitcoin back in 2018 through its Cash app (Square also purchased $50 million worth of bitcoin earlier this month), but PayPal is going further in supporting bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin. PayPal also plans to extend support to its money-sending subsidiary Venmo and international markets starting early next year. For now, PayPal plans to launch digital currency support for US users in the coming weeks. The move makes PayPal a major digital wallet as well as a cryptocurrency exchange, and the result could substantially increase potential adoption of cryptocurrencies among everyday users and online merchants. According to Bloomberg, PayPal has more than 346 million active accounts, of which 26 million are merchants.