US-based online payment processor PayPal is not likely to buy digital currencies like bitcoin, though the company does see immense opportunity in the digital wallet space.
In a recent interview PayPal’s Chief Financial Officer John Rainey said the payments giant has no interest in buying cryptocurrency, but prefers to invest in services that are additive to the platforms it offers.
“We’re not going to invest corporate cash, probably, in any sort of financial assets like that, but we want to capitalize on this growth opportunity that’s in front of us,” he said.
The company, which is one of the largest online payment processors in the world, has acknowledged that it believes the transition to digital forms of currencies is inevitable. In December 2020, PayPal CEO Dan Schulman called digital wallets a “natural complement to digital currencies” and said the company serves 360 million digital wallets.
PayPal and cryptocurrency
PayPal does have exposure to the crypto market. In October, the company announced that it would allow users to buy, hold and sell cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, ethereum, bitcoin cash and litecoin. Users can also shop with the digital coins in PayPal’s retail network.
Venmo, the mobile wallet owned by PayPal, is expected to begin offering the same services in the first half of this year. The features will also be extended to international markets.
PayPal plans to invest its money in companies that provide “complementary assets to our platform” that can drive growth, Mr. Rainey said. The company also announced it would introduce its buy, sell and hold crypto services to the United Kingdom in the near future.
“The types of services that we’re providing, like buy now, pay later and crypto as an example, even offline QR code, those are the types of things that we want to continue to invest in, be it organically or even inorganically when we see opportunities in the ecosystem,” he explained.
The crypto comments come as activity in crypto markets has picked up this year. American electric car and battery maker Tesla made a splash recently when the company disclosed that it purchased $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin and would also begin accepting the currency as a form of payment from customers.
Tesla’s move to invest in bitcoin sparked wonders in the investment community if other companies would follow in the carmarker’s footsteps. Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said that the topic was discussed but that the company ultimately declined to invest in the digital currency.
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