After a limited launch of buy / sell / hold crypto trading that “exceeded expectations,” PayPal CEO Dan Schulman said today during the company’s Q4 earnings call that the payments giant is poised to double down on cryptocurrencies.
“We also saw an exceptional response from our crypto launch,” said PayPal CEO Dan Schulman. “[…] The volume of crypto traded on our platform far exceeded our expectations. “
Schulman said crypto would be accepted “as a source of funding when [users] shop at one of our 29 million merchants’ at the end of the first quarter, and that 2021 will include a ‘comprehensive roadmap around crypto, blockchain and digital currencies’.
Schulman added that PayPal is actively working with regulators and central banks “to shape the future of” a post-physical cash world.
“We are investing significantly in our new crypto, blockchain and digital currency unit,” he said.
Analysts expected a 3.87% increase in total accounts to 375 million, as well as $ 266.8 billion in total payments processed, an 8% increase from the third quarter; the company exceeded both expectations with $ 277 billion processed and 377 million in total. The company also reported $ 21.45 billion in revenue.
The investor update in the fourth quarter of the company materials also promised ‘digital currency’ as a ‘key focus area’.
Additionally, the company said their ‘Buy, Hold and Sell Cryptocurrencies’ initiative would expand to ‘Venmo and select international markets’ in 2021. The company also noted that users of their crypto services become more active PayPal users after purchase, logging in twice as often.
Finally, PayPal’s materials echoed Schulman’s statements, saying a “ trading experience ” would be launched in 2021 that would “ provide cryptocurrency as a source of funding to pay at the 29 million PayPal merchants around the world. ” These integrations would be fiat handled and would save merchants from conversion costs.
In November, PayPal took a big step toward adoption of digital assets allowing its US users to buy crypto directly through the app. Customers based in the United States are only allowed to trade $ 20,000 per week. Since that time, the crypto trading volume on the platform has reached record highs, peaking at $ 242 million in transactions on January 11.
The platform also announced plans for customers to use cryptocurrencies for shopping at one of the 26 million merchants in its network as of 2021, a target that was reaffirmed during the company’s third quarter 2020 earnings call. At that point, PayPal execs declared digital currency of the central bank were “a matter of when and how they are done, not if.”