Bitcoin hits year-high after PayPal opens up to cryptocurrencies

PayPal to allow crypto-payments with 26 million merchants by early 2021

PayPal-headquarters-Silicon-Valley-California-shut File photo

The price of Bitcoin went up 4.11 per cent of Wednesday, to trade at $12,416 and rising—a 2020 high—after digital payments provider PayPal announced it would allow customers to buy, sell and hold bitcoin and other virtual coins via its online wallets.

By early 2021, PayPal customers will be able to use cryptocurrencies to shop with its 26 million merchants on its network, the company said in a statement.

PayPal hopes the service will encourage global use of virtual coins and prepare its network for new digital currencies that may be developed by central banks and corporations, President and Chief Executive Dan Schulman told Reuters in an interview.

“We are working with central banks and thinking of all forms of digital currencies and how PayPal can play a role,” he said.

The ability to buy, sell and hold cryptocurrencies will be rolled out to US users over the coming weeks, with plans to expand to Venmo (a mobile payment service owned by PayPal) and other countries by early 2021, the company said.

PayPal has 346 million active accounts around the world and processed $222 billion in payments in the second quarter of 2020.

The future of cryptocurrencies in India remains uncertain, with reports that the cabinet is to discuss a bill banning cryptocurrencies. This, after the Supreme Court overturned the RBI’s own ban of crypto transactions that had been enacted in 2018.

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