Demand for PayPal’s crypto offering exceeded all expectations, CEO says


The demand for cryptocurrency exceeded PayPal’s initial expectations after the firm launched crypto trading in late 2020, according to the company’s CEO.

“Demand on the crypto side has been multiple-fold to what we initially expected. There’s a lot of excitement,” PayPal president and CEO Dan Schulman said in a Sunday interview with Time magazine.

Schulman said that existing financial infrastructure needs modernization because it’s “inefficient today” due to overly expensive, slow international transactions. The CEO predicted that the financial system is poised to see more changes in the next five to 10 years than it has experienced over the past two decades.

“Ten years from now, you will see a tremendous decline in the use of cash. All form factors of payment will collapse into the mobile phone. Credit cards as a form factor will go away, and you will use your phone because a phone can add much more value than just tapping your credit card,” he said.

Schulman said that central banks will have to rethink their monetary policies as people stop using paper money. The executive said that central bank digital currencies could benefit from emerging technologies like distributed ledger technology. “But they’re basically digitizing a fiat currency like the U.S. dollar,” Schulman noted.

PayPal announced its plans to introduce the ability to buy, hold and sell a number of cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) in October 2020. By the time the new feature went live in the United States in mid-November 2020, Bitcoin was trading at around $16,000. The world’s largest cryptocurrency subsequently saw a massive rally, driving its price to a new historic record above $64,000 in April.

Amid growing prices and demand for crypto, PayPal has continued to expand its crypto services to clients, launching its crypto check-out service in late March to allow crypto payments for merchants. Last week, PayPal-owned payments platform Venmo introduced crypto trading for four major coins including BTC, ETH, Litecoin (LTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH).