PayPal to let users pay with cryptocurrency

FranckReporter/iStockBy CATHERINE THORBECKE, ABC News

(NEW YORK) — PayPal announced on Tuesday that it was giving its users the option to pay with cryptocurrency at the millions of online retailers that accept its payment service.

The feature is being added as digital currency demand surges and just weeks after the price of prominent cryptocurrency Bitcoin hit an all-time high.

“Enabling cryptocurrencies to make purchases at businesses around the world is the next chapter in driving the ubiquity and mass acceptance of digital currencies,” PayPal CEO Dan Schulman said in a statement.

The company said its “Checkout with Crypto” option will automatically appear for customers if they have enough cryptocurrency of a single type — Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum or Bitcoin Cash — within their PayPal wallet to cover a purchase. Only one type of digital currency can be used for a single purchase.

After a customer confirms a purchase online, their cryptocurrency will be converted to fiat currency by PayPal and the customer will then receive a record of both the crypto sale and the item purchased. PayPal also said it won’t charge a transaction fee to customers using crypto.

PayPal’s announcement comes less than a week after Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who has decades-old ties to PayPal, said his electric vehicle company now was accepting Bitcoin.

As cryptocurrency becomes more mainstream, Bitcoin has more than quadrupled in value in the past calendar year and as of Tuesday afternoon was trading at approximately $59,000.

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