PayPal – the name that anyone who has ever made an online transaction will have heard of. From its initial launch to being owned by eBay, and then back to an independent company, PayPal is the go-to e-wallet for millions of users. Around 377 million to be more precise.
With such a huge, and diverse, number of users around the world, it makes perfect sense for PayPal to look into crypto. It already has security systems in place that inspire confidence and the growing number of crypto users could lead to PayPal losing out unless it took action to join in. So join in is exactly what it did. We’re going to take a look at what PayPal has to offer, how its crypto offering has already developed, and what may be in store for the future.
How PayPal expanded beyond regular purchases
Initially, the way in which PayPal could be used was fairly limited. There were a select few online retailers that would accept it as a means of payment and then, of course, there was eBay. eBay is perhaps responsible for bringing PayPal to the masses and it became the default payment option of the platform. It is the years on eBay that established PayPal as a platform that could be trusted with our payments.
More and more retailers began to take note of PayPal and so more and more accepted it as a form of payment. What PayPal also did was to make it easy for small business owners to incorporate the payment system into their websites. This allowed for a boom in online businesses as suddenly everyone was able to accept online payments.
The next major milestone saw PayPal branch out into online casinos. In an industry was security is key, this seemed to be a natural move. Not only could PayPal provide a secure payment platform, but it also sped up the time to make deposits and withdrawals. Instead of waiting days for your winnings to hit your bank account, with PayPal, you could often access them in an instant. This is perhaps one of the main reasons that the number of PayPal casinos have continued to grow. Those wanting to see the latest range of PayPal casinos can click here.
A venture into crypto
PayPal had long seen the value, and the purpose, in crypto. It was back in 2013 that the platform began to explore how it may be able to incorporate Bitcoin as part of its offering. At a time when Bitcoin was still trying to overcome hurdles to be taken seriously, this perhaps shows the foresight of those at PayPal and how they saw the use, and acceptance, of crypto, changing.
The move to crypto wasn’t an overnight process, but when it did finally come in 2020 it was a welcomed announcement. In no small part, the move made by PayPal allowed Bitcoin to take the next step forward towards being recognised as a mainstream currency.
Being a US-based company, it makes sense that PayPal first launched its crypto services in the US. Initially, the service being offered allowed its users to buy, sell, and hold crypto. This saw it having a service similar to that of Coinbase and Binance. The major difference was that PayPal was better known and better trusted. Beyond Bitcoin, PayPal developed and then began to allow the same services with Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash.
2021 was a major breakthrough for PayPal and its dealings with crypto. Its US users were now able to use PayPal to make purchases using crypto. If a user wanted to make a purchase they could use Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, or Ethereum. PayPal would then transfer this to US dollars without any further fees.
The UK market
With PayPal only launching crypto services in the US in 2020, it was clearly satisfied with progress as it was less than a year later that it made its UK launch. UK users have seen the initial services that were offered in the US in that they are able to buy, sell, and hold crypto in the form of Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, and Ethereum.
As it stands, UK users are unable to use their crypto to make purchases directly through PayPal. The sensible money would be on the fact that this is something that will change. PayPal has seen a massive uptake in people using its service in the US since allowing crypto payments. There will be a desire for the same to happen in the UK.
PayPal and NFTs
While the year 2021 has been somewhat dominated by the significant increase in the value of Bitcoin, one of the other major developments has been that of NFTs (non-fungible tokens). A non-fungible token is a digital asset that is a unique one-off. The majority of NFTs are on the Ethereum blockchain and there have been the likes of albums, collector cards, and artworks sold. Over the last 12 months, these have become big business – as an example, the first-ever Tweet by the Twitter founder sold as an NFT for around $3 million.
PayPal is, allegedly, exploring the opportunity of entering the NFT market. It sees the process of buying and selling NFTs as overly complex and believes that it can simplify this. If this happens that NFTs will be opened up to a whole new audience.
What about other cryptos?
There are new cryptos appearing on a regular basis. Some come and go in a flash. Others stick around and add real value to the crypto market. Coins such as ADA and Polkadot are prime examples. Does this mean that PayPal will venture further and begin accepting these other coins?
For PayPal, the safety and security of its users are key. It has begun to explore new blockchains that would allow for other coins to be used. Once it knows that it can make its offering securely you can be sure that it will move forward and there will be more cryptos being used on PayPal.