We already knew that PayPal was planning to support the use of cryptocurrencies as a form of payment, and now the company announced that its customers in the United States can do just that, using the “Checkout with Crypto” feature, which is available from March 30th.
Having been offering users in the US the ability to buy and sell cryptocurrencies directly from their accounts since November 2020, a new feature provided by PayPal allows users to convert Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin or Bitcoin Cash directly in United States dollars, at no extra cost. PayPal then raises these amounts in order to complete the transaction. If a merchant does not accept US dollars, PayPal will convert those dollars into local currency, charging the usual commission set by the company.
The new feature will automatically appear in the PayPal wallet if a user has “sufficient balance on a [supported] cryptocurrency to cover a purchase”, while the user will be able to track the balances for each type of cryptocurrency through the application. Note here that only one cryptocurrency can be used for each transaction.
PayPal is not the first payment service to offer cryptocurrency support. In 2018, competitor Square offered support for Bitcoin through the Cash App. However, the use of cryptocurrencies as an acceptable form of payment makes PayPal an important digital wallet and at the same time an exchange of cryptocurrencies, a development which could lead to cryptocurrencies becoming a more common form of payment. During Investor Day, an event hosted by PayPal last week, the company announced that it had 377 million active customer accounts.