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For those who have been following PayPal's move toward the world of cryptocurrency trading, the news that the Fintech giant have finally embraced it has been a long time coming. It seems as though the online payment service has been hinting at its interest in blockchain based virtual payments for many years, with a failed attempt at collaborating with Facebook and Mastercard (among others) on the social media giant's Libra Project back in 2019.

On 21st October 2020, however, PayPal announced that it would finally allow its users to buy, hold and sell in virtual currencies, such as Bitcoin Cash and Ethereum. This decision was instated on 11th November, granting its 286 million active users access to the wider world of cryptocurrency.

But what does this mean for PayPal, who have long-since cornered the lion's share of the online payments market? Read more below.

A New Age for Crypto

Around six years ago, it was suggested that Bitcoin would be able to replace PayPal. Thus far, it has remained something of a niche in the wider world of online payments, with many users reticent to embrace crypto - a fact which is thought to be largely down to the continued ambiguity of virtual currencies, and a lack of trust from the average internet user.

PayPal, however, have around two decades of trust under their belts. The ‘average' user - someone who utilises PayPal in order to make use of their strong safety features - trusts PayPal a great deal more than they trust crypto. It is deployed in online stores, at gaming sites like https://www.mansioncasino.com/uk/payment-methods/paypal/, and anywhere else where security remains paramount to the users' enjoyment of online services.

Right now, we are in the early days of this move toward virtual currencies, and PayPal's ability to fully embrace crypto remains up for debate. What we can be sure of, however, is that PayPal's reputation for trustworthiness and versatility stands crypto in good stead for further penetration within markets that have, until now, failed to embrace it to the extent initially anticipated by the industry.

A New Age for PayPal

In spite of the years it holds under its belt, PayPal has seen a number of competitors rise through the ranks over the past few years. In the US, for instance, peer-to-peer payment App Venmo has grown incredibly popular. Similarly, tech giants like Apple and Google have introduced their own digital payment schemes for users' convenience, while Skrill has proven popular among online businesses for its low transaction fees.

Of course, we cannot underestimate the value of time; millions of users across the globe continue to rely on PayPal each day, and that fact is not about to change. What we cannot underestimate either, however, is the necessity for change within the tech industry, and the need to incorporate new and emerging payment methods before competitors are able to do it better, and are able to tap into vital portions of the market that are ready and willing to embrace change.

Of course, we can also expect uptake to be relatively slow. Many of PayPal's users remain suspicious of virtual currencies,  and are not about to begin trading just because PayPal is now sanctioning it.

What we can expect, however, is for the environment to begin to change; while it may be slow, there is plenty to suggest that PayPal's new features will encourage others to investigate the world of crypto faster than they may otherwise have done , and that the world of digital payments is preparing to undergo further change over the next few years.