Finance Monthly - FinTech Awards 2022

rguably, the move is a very good one for PayPal. PayPal’s crypto play seems to have brought more users and higher transaction volumes to its platform. More users than ever before are moving to crypto, particularly younger people and millennials internationally. It has served PayPal well to get in there early. This move was also great for Bitcoin. It certainly brought them media attention. It also helps the world see how Bitcoin – and crypto – can be made userfriendly and safe in a multitude of uses. It makes a statement to the world that Bitcoin is good, works and has use cases. PayPal’s acceptance of Bitcoin and crypto spells out in big letters to any critic claiming crypto is just for scams or crime that Bitcoin is ok. Yet, in many ways, this move benefits PayPal more than it does Bitcoin. Bitcoin already has its users, anyone who really wanted to buy Bitcoin by now already will have done so. PayPal however has been rather static. Crypto is a new offering for its users and a new way to attract both more users and more transactions. There isn’t really a reason to check Paypal’s app on a daily or frequent basis, unless users are making a transaction. Accepting crypto means that the amount of times its users check the app – and its transaction volume – has gone up! PayPal has around 350 million users and 26 million merchants. At the time PayPal started to accept Bitcoin transactions, in October last year, the market cap of PayPal – approximately $250 billion – was roughly the same as that of Bitcoin – approximately $240 billion. Now, PayPal’s has gone up to around $280 billion. Bitcoin, however, is currently hovering around $750 billion and has gone far past that previously. PayPal is, in many ways, replaceable. Sure, PayPal has many users and has first user advantage for the service it offers (and strong backers) but, in theory, PayPal could be replaced by another similar app with a better user experience, cooler marketing and a better brand to appeal to a bigger and younger audience. On the other hand, it’s hard to imagine that Bitcoin could ever be fully replaced. For sure, there are thousands of other cryptocurrencies, but they are simply not the same, for many reasons. Bitcoin has first mover advantage, is trust, safe, secure, has a great ecosystem of loyal (and highly skilled) supporters and developers, a big user base and is developing rapidly as well as other differentiating factors. It’s not yet known how much Bitcoin and crypto holders will use PayPal to pay with Bitcoin. Generally, most Bitcoin holders want to hold on to the digital Spec i a l Fea t ur e 74 Finance Monthly FinTech Awards 2022.

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