Paypal: Crypto service expansion and CBDC plans

Paypal: Crypto service expansion and CBDC plans

Paypal apparently sees the UK as the next market for its crypto service. CEO Dan Schulman’s CBDC plans also raise eyebrows.

After US customers of the payment service provider Paypal had already been able to purchase cryptocurrencies via the platform since autumn last year, it was really only a matter of time before the The News Spy offering would also be available in other parts of the world. Paypal itself had initially spoken of the „first half of 2021“.

Now this date is getting closer and closer. Apparently, residents of the UK will be the first outside the US to be able to use PayPal to buy and sell cryptocurrencies.

According to a recent tweet by journalist Carl Quintanilla, Paypal is planning to expand its crypto service in the UK first. This is expected to happen as early as in the coming months. It also plans to make crypto available to Venmo Wallet holders before the end of Q2 2021. Other offerings include international expansion of its in-house payments app Venmo before 2026 and a wider rollout of the app’s credit cards.

Paypal wants to play significant role in CBDC distribution

CEO Dan Schulman had already announced the expansion of Venmo services during the presentation of the fourth quarter 2020 figures. However, he initially left open which market will follow the US in terms of crypto offerings. However, at a Paypal investor day on 11 February 2021, Schulman then mentioned that he sees his company playing a significant role in the use of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).

Some analysts are already murmuring that there is more behind Schulman’s comments than „just“ aspirations at CBDC Distribution. „Step 1“ on the product roadmap unveiled at the numbers presentation is indeed the activation of crypto as a financing tool. Moreover, Schulman also hinted that PayPal is considering digitising other assets through the use of smart contracts and tokenisation. Calling the conventional financial system „outdated“, this approach is only logical.

As for PayPal’s own investment in cryptocurrencies, CFO John Rainey says it’s a wait-and-see approach for now. He said this in an interview with the Canadian broadcaster CNBC. Rainey considers it very unlikely that the company will take such a step.