Some 26 million merchants that have integrated PayPal will now be able to accept some of the four most prominent cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, ethereum, litecoin and BCH.
“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,” said Dan Schulman, president and CEO of PayPal, before adding:
“Enabling cryptocurrencies to make purchases at businesses around the world is the next chapter in driving the ubiquity and mass acceptance of digital currencies.”
There will be no transaction fee for paying with crypto, but “a cryptocurrency conversion spread will be built into the conversion from crypto to USD” with PayPal insta converting the crypto into fiat.
They do not specify how much the spread will be, with PayPal stating anyone that has crypto will now have the option to pay with it at the checkout. They say:
“Customers will be able select their cryptocurrency of choice – Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum or Bitcoin Cash, depending on what they are holding with PayPal and the balances available in each cryptocurrency. Only one type of cryptocurrency can be used for each purchase.
Once the customer confirms the purchase, the cryptocurrency is converted to fiat currency by PayPal on the customer’s behalf and the transaction is completed. The customer will receive a record of both the crypto sale, as well as the purchased item.”
PayPal launched the ability to buy cryptocurrencies last year, with payment to their merchants only available through crypto custodied by PayPal through itBit.
The latter is an exchange too, so the crypto doesn’t necessarily have to hit the blockchain just like buyers and sellers on an exchange don’t have to go through the blockchain.
That thus makes viable even coffee payments as it’s just a shifting of accounts within PayPal’s or itBit’s databases.
Meaning 12 years after launching, bitcoin payments are now going mainstream and are set to become ubiquitous online, but for now this rollout is limited to the United States with PayPal potentially expanding them further in due course.