PayPal enables crypto payments for select online purchases

Checkout with Crypto lets customers sell cryptocurrency through PayPal to fund select online purchases as part of the checkout flow.

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PayPal has enabled a new feature that allows customers to use cryptocurrency to purchase certain items online. The service is part of PayPal's push into the cryptocurrency space, including the recent launch of the company's new business unit focused on blockchain, crypto and digital currencies.

The feature, called Checkout with Crypto, builds on the ability to buy, hold and sell cryptocurrency with PayPal. It works by giving customers the ability to sell cryptocurrency through PayPal to fund select online purchases as part of the checkout flow. 

Cryptocurrency holdings are converted to US dollars at checkout, with clear conversion rates and no additional fees, PayPal said. Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum or Bitcoin Cash are the digital currencies currently supported. PayPal notes that only one type of cryptocurrency can be used for each purchase.

"Until now, offering cryptocurrency as a payment type has been challenging for businesses -- from integration requirements, technical barriers, and general lack of awareness among consumers," said Jim Magats, SVP of of Omni Payments for PayPal. "Checkout with Crypto allows businesses to accept the proceeds from sales of cryptocurrency as a payment type, all within the current PayPal integration, removing the need for any additional action for businesses. PayPal handles the crypto sale and conversion with the consumer and passes on US dollars to the business for the purchase, streamlining the process for businesses."

In October, PayPal confirmed its entry into the crypto market after receiving a conditional license from the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS), which allows US users of its Venmo service to buy, hold, and sell cryptocurrencies. 

When discussing its fourth quarter financial results last month, PayPal CEO Dan Schulman said the company has designed an extensive product roadmap around crypto, blockchain and digital currencies. PayPal also recently announced plans to acquire Curv, a startup based in Tel Aviv that provides security infrastructure for digital assets and blockchains.

Checkout with Crypto is rolling out to PayPal customers in the US starting today and will expand to more businesses over the coming months, PayPal said.

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