PayPal unlikely to invest cash in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, CFO says
Early this week, Tesla announced it bought $1.5 billion in bitcoin and planned to start accepting bitcoin for its products. The price of bitcoin surged immediately after the news. Then yesterday, America’s oldest bank BNY Mellon said it is adopting cryptocurrencies and will start to treat bitcoin “as any other asset,” according to a report from the Wall Street Journal.
As institutional support for bitcoin gains momentum, one tech giant is staying away from bitcoin, at least for now. Yesterday, PayPal Chief Financial Officer John Rainey told CNBC that the payments processing company is not likely to buy cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. Instead, the payment giant prefers to invest in services that are additive to the platforms it offers.
In an appearance on CNBC’s “Mad Money” Thursday, Rainey said:
“We’re not going to invest corporate cash, probably, in sort of financial assets like that, but we want to capitalize on this growth opportunity that’s in front of us.”
CNBC added that PayPal “has acknowledged that it believes the transition to digital forms of currencies is inevitable.” In December, PayPal CEO Dan Schulman called digital wallets a “natural complement to digital currencies” and said the company serves 360 million digital wallets, CNBC said.
Rainey’s announcement comes as a surprise to people who have been following the company’s recent moves. In October 2020, PayPal said it would start allowing its customers to buy, sell, shop, and hold bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies on its network. As part of the announcement, PayPal customers will also be able to use cryptocurrencies to shop at the 26 million merchants on its network starting in early 2021.
Unlike PayPal, however, Mastercard announced early this week that it was planning to offer support for some cryptocurrencies on its network this year. Payments company Square Inc has also recently backed cryptocurrencies.