PayPal CEO Dan Schulman suggested that the company’s recently announced embrace of bitcoin will significantly increase the usability and use of cryptocurrencies.
During a Nov. 23 interview with CNBC, Schulman said that PayPal’s initiatives will have far reaching consequences for crypto. He said:
“Early next year we’re going to allow cryptocurrencies to be a funding source for any transaction happening at all 28 million of our merchants, and that will significantly bolster the utility of cryptocurrencies.”
As Modern Consensus reported in late October, PayPal announced that its users would be able to buy, sell, and hold Bitcoin (BTC), ether (ETH), bitcoin cash (BCH), and litecoin (LTC) in their accounts. In mid-November, the new features went live for United States customers, with plans to roll the service out to the rest of the user base next year.
Before the launch, Schulman said during PayPal’s third-quarter earnings call that “we are entering a new era of financial services where our wallets and all the services around them are moving from physical to digital,” hinting at crypto being part of this change. During the most recent interview, he said:
“Especially with the pandemic, you’ve seen the use of cash decline precipitously—something like 40%-70% of consumers no longer want to handle cash… We’re making it very simple and easy for people to utilize crypto as a funding source.”
Noting that “every industry is digitizing right now,” Schulman added that financial services are no exception. “There is no question that people are flocking to digital payments and digital forms of currency,” he said.
Fiat currency called into question
His interviewer said that he sees “I appreciate the bull case in that scenario, but I also appreciate that there’s a bear case in that scenario because it suggests that fiat currency is here to stay.” Schulman did not interrupt as the CNBC show host moved onto another subject, but nodded with his head suggesting that he believes that fiat currency is indeed here to stay.
While hardcore Bitcoin proponents may view this as a bearish answer, it should be pointed out that the future of fiat currency has been called into question by a relatively mainstream news organization. Such a thing would have been unthinkable just a few years ago.