PayPal launches Bitcoin buying and selling
PayPal on Wednesday entered the cryptocurrency market, launching a new service enabling users to buy, sell and hold Bitcoin directly within their existing PayPal account.
Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin will also be offered in the first wave of supported digital currencies.
The California-based payments giant also confirmed plans to integrate cryptocurrency into transactions from early 2021, enabling users to pay for goods and services directly using digital currency at more than 26 million merchants worldwide.
The feature is initially limited to account holders in the US, though the firm expects to roll the service out to more of the 346m active accounts around the world from next year.
PayPal, which also owns shared payments app Venmo, is one of the world’s biggest online payments brands. News of it backing the cryptocurrency sent the value of Bitcoin soaring more than $1000 in 24 hours, climbing above $12,960.
Initially, PayPal's crypto system will be a closed loop, with the idea of introducing cryptocurrency adoption to a wider audience, i.e. those who have heard of the concept, but have yet to enter the ecosystem either due to confusion or risk-aversion.
But the payments company hopes to leverage its scale and brand recognition to evangelise the shift to digital currency, a sea change that president and CEO Dan Schulman believes is “inevitable” due to advantages in efficiency and cost-saving.
“We are eager to work with central banks and regulators around the world to offer our support, and to meaningfully contribute to shaping the role that digital currencies will play in the future of global finance and commerce,” he added.
Charles Cascarilla, co-founder and CEO of Paxos, which built the platform underpinning PayPal’s new crypto service, says the news is significant for the entire industry: “PayPal can drive increased awareness, education, adoption and utility for digital currencies.”
‘Not a surprise’
Danny Scott, CEO and co-founder of crypto exchange CoinCorner, says the announcement “hasn’t really come as a surprise to the industry”.
Since Paypal withdrew from Facebook’s on-ice stablecoin Libra, it has been seeking an alternative inroad to cryptocurrency. This initial foray, Scott says, “shows a positive step forward for the industry, and brings yet more credibility to Bitcoin and its future”.
NFT Marketplace Rarible Raises US$14.2m
Alongside the funding announcement, Rarible has shared that they’ve officially partnered with NBA Top Shot maker Dapper Labs to bring their NFT marketplace to Dapper’s Flow blockchain. Dapper Labs has begun building out a wider coalition of NFT platforms on its proprietary blockchain which is more energy-efficient and less costly than transactions on the Ethereum network.
“To mark this next phase, we are also proud to enter an official partnership with Flow. Dapper Labs has an impressive track record of bringing NFTs mainstream by creating native experiences for non-crypto audiences. As a blockchain, Flow enables easier access and lowers the entry barrier for traditional consumers and brands, which makes it a perfect partner on our journey to the wider adoption.
“In the coming couple of months, we will be bringing Rarible on Flow as a primary and secondary marketplace, also welcoming the robust ecosystem of projects built on Flow blockchain,” Rarible said.
According to the company, last June, 6 months post-launch, total trading volume on Rarible hit the $28,000 mark. By June 2021 it grew by a mind-blowing 3000x, reaching $150 million in total sales.
“Just as we have always been at the forefront of the NFT movement, Rarible is determined to pioneer the next wave,” the co-founder of Rarible’s marketplace and CEO Alexei Falin said. “With this company milestone, we are thankful for the support of Venrock, 01 Advisors, and Coinfund and look forward to going beyond the current enclosed crypto environment and taking NFTs into mainstream consciousness.”
In a blog post the company says they hope to use this funding to explore more user-friendly developments like accepting credit card payments. “We need a world where an indie creator can effortlessly create an NFT and sell it for $5 to his community of supporters, as well as where a pop icon can use NFTs to establish close contact with her multi-million audience in a sustainable way.”
Rarible has a lot underway in the upcoming few months, including the launch of Rarible NFT protocol, L2 solution for scalability and sustainability, credit card payments, adoption of Flow blockchain, multiple partnerships and drops, and more. Many projects are already working on integrations with Rarible protocol, such as the partnership with one-click NFT creator S!NG that allows users to mint and put their NFTs on sale with no costs involved.