PayPal and Venmo to “allow buys and sells of crypto directly”
PayPal and its peer-to-peer (P2P) mobile payments app Venmo are planning to “allow buys and sells of crypto directly” from their platforms, according to three CoinDesk sources.
The payments giant has roughly 325 million users, prompting many in the industry to call this news – which has not yet been verified by PayPal – a major win in the route to mass consumer adoption of cryptocurrency.
PayPal currently allows users to withdraw funds from exchanges such as San Francisco-based Coinbase – which it has been working with since 2016. But a CoinDesk source says the firm is “going to have some sort of a built-in wallet functionality so you can store it [cryptocurrency]” on PayPal’s and Venmo’s platforms directly.
One source said they expected PayPal “would be working with multiple exchanges to source liquidity”, whilst another said the service could be expected “in the next three months, maybe sooner”.
Coinbase and Luxembourg-based Bitstamp have been pinned as two likely exchange contenders.
Rival Square made $306 million in the first quarter of 2020 through bitcoin purchases on its Cash App, having rolled the service out in 2018, making it a lucrative business opportunity for PayPal and Venmo if they decide to step into the crypto ring.
Venmo alone has 52 million users, and its CEO Dan Schulman has been vocal about his plans to continue monetising the service.
It was in 2018 that PayPal allowed Coinbase US customers to make instant fiat withdrawals to PayPal, before extending the service to European and Canadian customers.
This year, the firm posted eight engineering job openings around its new Blockchain Research Group, based in San Jose and Singapore. A source told CoinDesk that since its drop out from Facebook’s Libra project, PayPal is keen to go at crypto alone.
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