PayPal logo and sign in front of PayPal Holdings headquarters building
PayPal logo and sign in front of PayPal Holdings headquarters building in North San Jose Innovation District in Silicon Valley, San Jose, California, USA on March 17, 2019. Michael Vi/Shutterstock

The Paxos Trust Company has partnered with payments giant PayPal, enabling its customers to buy and sell cryptocurrencies directly through its app, the firm said in a press release shared with The Chain Bulletin on 21 October.

According to the announcement, Paxos will be powering PayPal’s new service by providing trading and custodial services to the payments giant, enabling its customers to “buy, sell, and hold cryptocurrency” directly through the app. In addition, by partnering with Paxos PayPal was able to obtain a conditional cryptocurrency license from the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS), also known as a BitLicense.

The Superintendent of Financial Services, Linda A. Lacewell, said in a statement:

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“DFS’s approval today follows our June 2020 announcement for a new framework for a conditional Bitlicense to encourage, promote, and assist interested institutions to have a well-regulated way to access the New York virtual currency marketplace in a way that is both timely and protective of New York consumers, through partnerships with New York authorized virtual currency firms.”

The new service will initially support four NYDFS approved digital assets, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin. PayPal will not only enable the buying and selling of these cryptocurrencies, but will also allow its users to shop with crypto in any of its 26 million merchants around the globe. Similarly to other crypto merchant solutions, the payments will be settled through traditional fiat currencies, while PayPal takes care of the conversion between crypto and fiat “with certainty of value and no incremental fees”.

PayPal users will be able to make use of the new service starting early 2021, the firm said in its own press release. With its 346 million active accounts and $222 billion in volume processed in Q2 2020, PayPal is one of the largest payment processors around the world, which makes it perfectly suited to increase the awareness, education, adoption and utility for digital currencies.

By taking a “regulation-first approach”, Paxos was able to secure the first ever Trust charter to custody and offer crypto and blockchain-based digital assets back in 2015. Today’s announcement marks another regulatory first for the company, with its help PayPal was able to obtain the first virtual currency conditional license from the New York State Department of Financial Services.

Rumors of the PayPal Paxos partnership started to emerge in July, when unnamed sources told crypto news outlet CoinDesk that PayPal was planning to roll out direct sales of cryptocurrency to its users. The payments giant was initially going to enter the crypto space back in 2019 as a founding member of the Facebook-led Libra association, though the company withdrew from the governing body of the project in October of the same year.

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Yes, but if you read the fine print on PayPal’s offering, they will not allow users to transfer crypto into or out of PayPal. So, big nothing burger.