Bitcoin surges on PayPal crypto checkout launch

Bitcoin breaks $59,000

Bitcoin jumped to its highest level in over two weeks on Tuesday, buoyed by the news that PayPal will launch a service allowing US consumers to use cryptos to purchase millions of goods online.

The payment giant’s decision last October to allow users to hold cryptoassets was widely hailed as a breakthrough for the burgeoning sector.

However, although it was credited for contributing to Bitcoin’s late-2020 price surge, PayPal was criticised by some in the crypto community for only providing users with the ability to buy and sell Bitcoin rather than to buy and sell with Bitcoin.

The latest move represents a shift in this direction. PayPal users with Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ether and Bitcoin Cash will soon be able to convert their holdings into fiat currency at checkout when purchasing items.

The company revealed that the service will be available at all of its 29 million merchants within months and has been in development since late last year.

President and CEO Dan Schulman stated: “As the use of digital payments and digital currencies accelerates, the introduction of Checkout with Crypto continues our focus on driving mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies, while continuing to offer PayPal customers choice and flexibility in the ways they can pay using the PayPal wallet. Enabling cryptocurrencies to make purchases at businesses around the world is the next chapter in driving the ubiquity and mass acceptance of digital currencies."

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Schulman told Fast Company that he had already conducted the first official purchase with the new service, buying a pair of cowboy boots.

With the Wild West days of cryptos receding yet further into memory following PayPal’s latest announcement, Bitcoin traded up 3.2 per cent by mid-afternoon at $59,100. With a market cap of over $1.1trn, the world’s leading cryptocurrency has almost doubled since the start of the year.

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