Cryptocurrencies Need a Clear Advantage to Catch On, Says Paypal’s CTO

Sri Shivananda, an eBay veteran who’s now the Chief Technical Officer of PayPal, has argued cryptocurrencies need a clear advantage before they are widely adopted by consumers.

Shivananda’s words came at the sidelines of The Economic Times Global Business Summit, days after India’s Supreme Court lifted a banking ban imposed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) against cryptocurrency-related businesses in the country. In the event he noted that what happened to the cryptocurrency space is, in some cases, it’s “more of an asset play than a currency.”

He added:

The main thing to keep in mind in this business is to follow consumers. If consumers start to feel like there’s some leverage that they get through cryptocurrencies, everything else will automatically fall in line.

Shivananda added that he believes it’s only a matter of time until fiat currencies become digital, and added this will require the participation of a currency’s users throughout society, not just from financial technology companies and regulators.

PayPal itself was entering the cryptocurrency space this year via the Libra Association, which is set to launch a cryptocurrency backed by a basket of fiat currencies and short-term U.S. Treasuries later this year. The firm withdrew from the Association in October, however, to focus on its roadmap and advance financial inclusion.

The company’s CTO commented that it left the Libra Association, which aims to help the “underserved, the people that are not supported by the system today,” because it “felt like that was not going to be the case in the short to medium-term.”

PayPal was notably not the only firm to leave the Libra Association. Mastercard, Visa, eBay, Vodafone, and others have also left it. The Association has, this year, added two new members: e-commerce giant Shopify and crypto prime broker Tagomi.

Featured image via Unsplash.