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PayPal Takes the Next Step in its Cryptocurrency Odyssey: Merchant Acceptance

Continuing its push to make cryptocurrency a mainstream payment option, PayPal Holdings, Inc. on Monday announced that it will accept cryptocurrency at checkout.

The move builds on PayPal’s strategy of increasing the utility of cryptocurrency so it can become a mainstream payment option. PayPal took the first step in that direction last October when it allowed PayPal account holders to buy, hold, and sell cryptocurrency directly from their account.

PayPal will support acceptance of Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, or Bitcoin Cash, and will not charge consumers conversion or any other fees at checkout. Only one type of cryptocurrency can be used for each purchase.

Once payment has been made, PayPal will settle the transaction in U.S. dollars and convert them to the applicable currency for the business at its standard conversion rates.

An image from the PayPal Checkout with Crypto service.

Noting that acceptance of cryptocurrency as a payment option has been slow because consumers have historically treated the digital currency as an asset, PayPal sees the acceptance of crypto currency as a way to help merchants attract, and build loyalty among, new customers who want to pay for purchases using digital currencies.

“As the use of digital payments and digital currencies accelerates, the introduction of Checkout with Crypto continues our focus on driving mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies, while continuing to offer PayPal customers choice and flexibility in the ways they can pay using the PayPal wallet,” Dan Schulman, president and chief executive of PayPal said in a prepared statement. “Enabling cryptocurrencies to make purchases at businesses around the world is the next chapter in driving the ubiquity and mass acceptance of digital currencies.”

Earlier this month, PayPal took steps to increase the security around the use of cryptocurrency in PayPal wallets with the acquisition of Curv, a Tel Aviv, Israel-based provider of cloud-based infrastructure for digital-asset security. Curv will allow PayPal to set custom spending rules that govern how and when cryptocurrency can be transferred to and from PayPal wallets.

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