PayPal will allow customers to withdraw Bitcoin to third-party wallets

PayPal on Wednesday unveiled a plan to let its customers withdraw cryptocurrency to third party wallets.

The San Jose, California-based online payments giant at this time does not let users move cryptocurrency holdings off its platform, although people have been able to buy and sell digital currencies through PayPal since last October.

The news was first reported by Coindesk, citing comments from Jose Fernandez da Ponte, who leads PayPal’s blockchain, crypto and digital currencies business unit.

PayPal, which has let users buy and sell cryptocurrencies since October, will soon allow them to move their digital assets to third party wallets

PayPal, which has let users buy and sell cryptocurrencies since October, will soon allow them to move their digital assets to third party wallets

PayPal, which has let users buy and sell cryptocurrencies since October, will soon allow them to move their digital assets to third party wallets

Jose Fernandez da Ponte, who leads PayPal's blockchain unit, made the announcement on Wednesday during Coindesk's Consensus 2021 conference

Jose Fernandez da Ponte, who leads PayPal's blockchain unit, made the announcement on Wednesday during Coindesk's Consensus 2021 conference

Jose Fernandez da Ponte, who leads PayPal’s blockchain unit, made the announcement on Wednesday during Coindesk’s Consensus 2021 conference

‘We want to make it as open as possible, and we want to give choice to our consumers, something that will let them pay in any way they want to pay,’ da Ponte said at Coindesk’s Consensus 2021 conference. 

He continued: ‘they want to bring their crypto to us so they can use it in commerce, and we want them to be able to take the crypto they acquired with us and take it to the destination of their choice.’

The soon-to-be added feature allowing customers to move Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to third party services will also apply to PayPal’s popular mobile payments service Venmo. 

The soon-to-be added feature allowing customers to move cryptocurrencies to third party services will also apply to PayPal's mobile payments service Venmo

The soon-to-be added feature allowing customers to move cryptocurrencies to third party services will also apply to PayPal's mobile payments service Venmo

The soon-to-be added feature allowing customers to move cryptocurrencies to third party services will also apply to PayPal’s mobile payments service Venmo

Da Ponte did not offer a timetable for the introduction of the new feature.

The announcement comes a month after PayPal CEO Dan Schulmen said in an interview with Time Magazine that public demand for cryptocurrency services on the global payment platform has exceeded the company’s expectations.

‘Demand on the crypto side has been multiple-fold to what we initially expected. There’s a lot of excitement,’ said Schulman.

WHAT ARE CRYPTOCURRENCIES?

A cryptocurrency is a digital currency that can be used for transactions online.

It is the internet’s version of money – unique pieces of digital property that can be transferred from one person to another.

All crytocurrencies use ‘blockchain’ and one can only be made and shared using specific agreed-upon rules. For each cryptocurrency the rules are slightly different. 

Bitcoins are lines of computer code that are digitally signed each time they travel from one owner to the next. Physical coin used as an illustration

Bitcoins are lines of computer code that are digitally signed each time they travel from one owner to the next. Physical coin used as an illustration

Bitcoins are lines of computer code that are digitally signed each time they travel from one owner to the next. Physical coin used as an illustration

People can buy bitcoins through exchanges such as Coinbase and Bitfinex.

Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency, created in 2009. 

Other currencies such as Litecoin and Dogecoin do the same thing but have slightly different levels of inflation and rules surrounding transactions. 

Currently around 270,000 transactions are taking place every 24 hours.

These currencies don’t exist as physical or digital objects. They are just a collective agreement with other people on the network that your currency was legitimately ‘mined’. 

Blockchain is the record of changes in ownership of in a currency which is broadcast through the network and maintained by computers around the world.

The network works by harnessing individuals’ greed for the collective good.

A network of tech-savvy users called miners keep the system honest by pouring their computing power into a blockchain, a global running tally of every bitcoin transaction.

As long as miners keep the blockchain secure, counterfeiting shouldn’t be an issue.

However, because cryptocurrencies allow people to trade money without a third party getting involved, they have become popular with libertarians as well as technophiles, speculators — and criminals. 

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