PayPal’s Updated App Facilitates Crypto Trading Along With Enabling Merchant Payments

On Thursday, November 18, American multinational financial technology company PayPal Holdings launched a significant upgrade for its mobile payments app that advances crypto into the mainstream financial scene. This step is a giant leap for the crypto space, bringing mainstream merchants closer to the crypto ecosystem.

According to the official Twitter handle of PayPal, the mobile payment giant wrote, "The new PayPal app gives you more ways to explore crypto. Whether you want to buy, sell, hold or even use it to checkout with millions of PayPal merchants."

The new rolled out update will allow users to select crypto at checkout on "eligible purchases" when checking out millions of online stores. Currently, the company offers only four elite cryptocurrencies on its platform. Which are Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum (ETH), and Litecoin (LTC). With little information, it is unclear which purchases will be considered "eligible purchases," nevertheless, millions of online stores worldwide are hinting that PayPal is aiming for widespread adoption with the newest update.

In a recent podcast, Jose Fernandez, Paypal's SVP and GM, Blockchain, Crypto and Digital Currencies, said that venturing into the crypto market was an act of significant demand from both consumers and merchants.

"We thought that it was part of our responsibility to help in making this asset class more accessible to the public."

The official PayPal website states that anyone can start with "as little as $1 with the funds already available in your PayPal balance" with the guaranteed replacement of crypto if "your account gets hacked." They are also providing the latest articles to know the basics about crypto directly from the app. Moreover the there are other three perks for users interested in the service.

  1.  Users can complete their W-9 tax form in advance in the app to use their crypto as a payment method.
  2. Paying via crypto will be automatically available as a payment option. (Only if the user can pay in the total amount.)
  3. PayPal will also convert the crypto amount into any other currency of choice at no additional fee.

However, users will still be taxed on purchases using crypto (based on geographical location). "Checking out with crypto is a taxable transaction. Fees and exchange rates will apply." PayPal specifies this as the transaction will require users to sell cryptocurrency to fund a transaction directly from their account.

Another interesting this with PayPal is that the digital payments company is willing to dabble with the world of NFTs. Fernandez pointed out that the process of buying NFTs is currently not easy. PayPal aims to make its easy and seamless.

Fernandez said: The experience of buying an NFT today is the number of hoops that you need to go through… That goes to the protection side as well. So that is something that is definitely on the early adopter side, is not yet a mainstream experience for a curious but not sophisticated user. We definitely have a role to play on how do we enable a seamless payment experience for NFT… many of our merchants and partners, especially in the media sector are asking for that.”