Payments giant PayPal letting its users buy, sell and hold cryptocurrencies on its platform could be “paving the way” for PayPal to launch its own cryptocurrency, possibly within the next 6-12 months, said CoinShares Chief Strategy Officer Meltem Demirors.
Speaking to CNBC’s Fast Money, Demirors revealed that PayPal adding cryptocurrency buying and selling options will be a “huge on-ramp for consumers” as it will make access to cryptocurrencies easier. She added, however, that the cryptoassets will be within a “walled garden” on the PayPal ecosystem.
As CryptoGlobe reported, the fintech firm is letting users buy, sell and hold crypto within their PayPal accounts, but will not let users deposit or withdraw cryptoassets to a wallet they control the private keys of. Per Demirors, no crypto is coming from outside the PayPal environment, which is “eventually paving the way for PayPal launching its own cryptocurrency.”
Demirors added that PayPal was part of Facebook’s Libra Association before dropping out of it, and as such she wouldn’t “be surprised that in the next 6-12 months we see PayPal launch its own cryptocurrency similar to a digital dollar that we see in many payments companies we see in the Asia-Pacific region in particular.”
During the interview with CNBC, Demirors pointed out that PayPal expanding the crypto buying and selling feature to its Venmo payments app is “really exciting” as it has 300 million active users who are millennials and “the target audience for bitcoin, the type of investors interested in holding bitcoin.”
In terms of retail exposure to cryptocurrencies, she added, PayPal is the “largest distribution channel in the United States” and their addition of cryptos on their platform, is going ot be a “huge on-ramp for consumers.”
PayPal, it’s worth noting, says that there are “no service fees when buying or selling cryptocurrency through December 31, 2020, and there are no fees for holding cryptocurrency in a PayPal account.” Paxos Trust Company is helping PayPal with dealing with crypto in the U.S.
The first jurisdiction the fintech firm is supporting is the U.S., although it is planning to “expand the features to Venmo and select international markets in the first half of 2021.” The firm supports Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin.