PayPal (PYPL) Enters The Nascent Cryptocurrency Market

PayPal Holdings Inc (NASDAQ: PYPL) has become the latest large financial services provider to show an interest in the digital currency space after informing its U.S. users that they can now buy, sell, and hold cryptocurrencies directly from their PayPal account.

The company said in an update to a press release from last month, that its new crypto functionality will initially feature virtual currencies like Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and Litecoin (LTC). These virtual currencies, which can be stored “directly within the PayPal digital wallet”, could then be used to buy things from the 26 million sellers around the globe which accept PayPal.

The payments company also said that it has raised its cryptocurrency purchase limit from $10,000 per week to $20,000, and that the new transacting functionality would also be made available to international customers through its transaction app Venmo sometime in the first half of next year.

PayPal’s announcement, which will certainly generate significant visibility to the cryptocurrency market, comes a month after the company said it would bolt crytocurrency capability onto its PayPal application. The news also comes as more financial institutions signal their entry into the nascent market.

In fact, Fidelity Investments, which manages more than $7 trillion in client assets, set up its own crypto division last year. Jack Dorsey’s payments company Square Inc. (SQ) has long offered crypto services, and recently purchased $50 million worth of Bitcoin. Meanwhile, business intelligence software company MicroStrategy (MSTR) bought more than $400 million worth of Bitcoin over the last few months.

Last week, during the quarterly earnings release call, PayPal CEO Daniel Schulman said that demand for crypto transacting was heavy and that “our base is very eager for us to offer these capabilities.”

Price Action

As of writing, shares of PayPal are down 0.42% to $188.32. Bitcoin’s price meanwhile is up almost 0.28% over the previous 24 hours and trading at around $16,180. BTC spiked close to $20,000 in late 2017.

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