After PayPal announced to accept cryptocurrencies, the Bitcoin went from a peak value of 9,697.54 euros to a peak value of 10,058.30 euros

By Kyriacos Nicolaou

Though a large number of people remain tentative on the long-term prospects of cryptocurrencies, they are here to stay for the short-to-medium term in one form or another.

Bitcoin, the most well-known cryptocurrency in the world following its introduction in 2009, went through a share price rise of 3.72 per cent on Wednesday, October 21, after American online payment company PayPal announced plans to accept cryptocurrencies on the platform at some point in the near future. Bitcon went from a peak value of 9,697.54 euros on Monday to a peak value of 10,058.30 euros on Wednesday.

PayPal cited a well-documented shift towards online and other forms of digital payments, particularly following an acceleration of the segment in the Covid 19 era, for its decision to cater to cryptocurrency owners and traders. PayPal said it will bolster the practicality and usefulness of cryptocurrencies by making them available as a source of funds at the company’s 26 million merchants around the world.

“Mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies has traditionally been hindered by their limited utility as an instrument of exchange due to volatility, cost and speed to transact,” the company said. “However, the promise of advanced technological platforms offers the possibility of mainstreaming digital currencies,” it added.

PayPal also referenced research conducted by the Bank for International Settlements, the self-described ‘bankers’ bank’ and which caters to the financial needs of all central banks that form its membership base, which states that roughly one in ten central banks plan to create their own digital currencies by 2024.

PayPal president and CEO Dan Schulman also spoke on the company’s cryptocurrency ambitions, highlighting the benefits of digital currency utilisation.

“The shift to digital forms of currencies is inevitable, bringing with it clear advantages in terms of financial inclusion and access; efficiency, speed and resilience of the payments system; and the ability for governments to disburse funds to citizens quickly,” he said.

“Our global reach, digital payments expertise, two-sided network, and rigorous security and compliance controls provide us with the opportunity, and the responsibility, to help facilitate the understanding, redemption and interoperability of these new instruments of exchange,” Schulman added.

“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 concluded.

Starting with the US market first, PayPal will make the following cryptocurrencies available to buy, hold and sell directly in its digital wallet: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin. A limited number of international markets will receive this update to their wallet within the first half of 2021. I suspect that European Union regulatory frameworks may delay the introduction of this feature to EU countries for a little while longer.

PayPal has admitted that the knowledge level of a sizable portion of its user base on cryptocurrencies is quite limited so it will be making information and other educational content available so that the entire cryptocurrency ecosystem is better understood, including any potential risks.

In terms of any fees or commission in relation to cryptocurrency exchanges, PayPal said it will charge no service fees when buying or selling cryptocurrencies, nor will it charge any fees for users who choose to solely hold onto any cryptocurrencies in their PayPal accounts.

Originally published at Cyprus