Shopping with cryptocurrency just got easier for millions of people. Online payment behemoth PayPal said its American users can now choose to pay for their goods using cryptocurrencies held in their accounts.
PayPal, which has 325 million active account holders worldwide, already allows most of its U.S. users to buy, sell, and hold Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash. The company hopes to extend this capability to some international users by mid-2021.
The “Checkout With Crypto” feature, launched on Tuesday, allows PayPal’s U.S. users to use cryptocurrency to pay for items at millions of online businesses. Users with enough cryptocurrency in their accounts to cover the transaction price will automatically see an option to pay with cryptocurrency, which will then be converted to U.S. dollars at checkout. PayPal said there will be a transparent conversion rate and no additional conversion fee.
Digital currencies have gained traction as an investment in recent years, but PayPal’s new offering is a step toward their growing utility as everyday money.Online retailer Overstock began accepting cryptocurrency payments in 2014, and more recently, Tesla has started accepting Bitcoin car purchases. On Monday, Visa launched a pilot program to settle transactions in USD Coin, a digital currency, without any conversions into fiat currency.
"Enabling cryptocurrencies to make purchases at businesses around the world is the next chapter in driving the ubiquity and mass acceptance of digital currencies," said Dan Schulman, PayPal president and CEO, in a release.