PayPal announced a new service that enables users to buy, hold and sell cryptocurrency from their PayPal digital wallet. This feature is available to U.S. account holders without being charged a service fee charge now through Dec 31. These features will be expanded to include Venmo and international markets. Starting in early 2021, PayPal will allow cryptocurrencies to be used as a funding source for purchases at its 26M merchants.
Investors believe PayPal is positioning itself to directly compete with Square’s Cash App, which offers crypto trading. Square has seen an increase in bitcoin trading activity through the pandemic, driving $875M of pass-through volume and fees through the Cash App in Q2. Square generated $17M in net fees, or nearly $70M annually.
PayPal’s acceptance of crypto as a funding mechanism is expected to expand crypto acceptance online, which to-date has stalled at 1%, but it’s unclear whether greater crypto acceptance will translate into greater volume for PayPal’s wallet.