PayPal buys Israeli crypto wallet Curv for its new blockchain unit
PayPal has agreed to buy Curv, a Tel Aviv-based cloud-based wallet for digital asset securities, to flesh out its newly formed blockchain business unit.
The online payments giant says it will use the acquisition to “accelerate and expand its initiatives to support cryptocurrencies and digital assets”.
PayPal expects the acquisition to close in the first half of 2021. The deal value is unknown.
Jose Fernandez da Ponte, PayPal’s vice president for blockchain, crypto and digital currencies, says the acquirer is “impressed” by Curv’s “technical talent, entrepreneurial spirit, and the thinking behind the technology they’ve built”.
CEO Itay Malinger and chief technology officer Dan Yadlin founded Curv in 2018.
Malinger previously directed the Israeli government’s research and development unit. Yadlin is also a former government employee. He worked as a software engineer for nearly ten years prior to founding Curv.
“As the adoption of digital assets accelerates, we feel there’s no better home than PayPal to continue our journey of innovation,” says Malinger.
Crypto is driving engagement
PayPal’s now has 377 million yearly active accounts, more than the entire US population.
The payments firm has put its recent growth down to a COVID-19-induced e-commerce boom. As well as its newly launched crypto-endowed digital wallet in the US. And the roll out of buy now, pay later (BNPL) options.
The firm saw its total payment volume grow to $936 billion. A rise of nearly a third (31%) in 2020 alone.
PayPal’s introduced a buy, sell and hold cryptocurrency feature last October for US digital wallet owners.
Whilst PayPal didn’t reveal exact numbers in its 2020 results, it did say the addition of cryptocurrency capabilities has driven user activity. Those who activated the feature last year logged into PayPal at twice the rate they did before.
PayPal’s intention is to allow users to spend cryptocurrency via their PayPal wallet at all 26 million of its merchants.