A mere decade ago, Bitcoin was valued at just over $4. In those early days, digital assets were something only to interest tech-savvy early adopters. Today, at the time of writing, the value of one Bitcoin is valued at $64,400, and with that, people from all around the world and all walks of life have started to be interested in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
The intense rollercoaster ride cryptocurrencies are known for has garnered them widespread global attention, and pushed them further toward the mainstream, where more newcomers are looking to get their piece of the crypto pie.
This trend has been further intensified by mainstream payment services such as PayPal and Venmo introducing cryptocurrency services to their existing payment platforms. With their new features to buy, hold and sell cryptocurrencies, millions of users can now step into the crypto market using a platform they are already familiar with. Especially for anyone intimidated by cryptocurrencies and their tech jargon, these new services offer an easy way to test the crypto waters themselves.
PayPal jumping on the cryptocurrency bandwagon
Payment service PayPal introduced the option to buy, hold and sell cryptocurrencies within their platform to their US customers at the end of last year. Since March 2021, US users can also check out within PayPal’s network of over 33 million merchants and pay for their purchases using digital assets.
After announcing their plans to bring the service to more countries, PayPal has brought cryptocurrency purchasing to the UK market in August 2021. While cryptocurrency payments are not available in Europe yet, PayPal is set to expand its services to more countries in the near future.
PayPal’s US payment app Venmo also introduced cryptocurrency to its service in April. Both PayPal and Venmo have seen massive growth in the past quarter, and the introduction of cryptocurrencies is said to have played a major role.
According to the company’s Q3 2021 Earnings Call, PayPal saw a 15% increase in first-time users transacting with crypto in the last quarter that ended on September 30. This shows, how more people are making use of the mainstream payment service to access the crypto world.
Especially for users, who have so far been too intimidated by cryptocurrencies and have found themselves overwhelmed by complex exchanges and wallets, the new service offered by PayPal allows for an easy way into the market.
Users don’t have to learn about cold or hot wallets or go through a lengthy registration on a dedicated cryptocurrency exchange to purchase digital assets themselves. Instead, they can now use an app that is already installed on their devices. This, in turn, drives the reach of digital currencies further, while lowering the technical and psychological hurdles to access the market.
Cryptocurrencies heading towards the mainstream
Cryptocurrencies are no longer only something for the tech-savvy, as more companies jump on the crypto bandwagon. It’s not just PayPal and Venmo that are facilitating digital currency payments, as more companies around the world have started accepting Bitcoin, Ether, etc. as a form of payment as well. Tech giant Microsoft, for instance, jumped into the crypto field already many years ago, accepting digital currencies in their Xbox Game Store.
Streaming platform Twitch allows its audience to support streamers on their platform using Bitcoin and, at least for a short while earlier this year, people were able to buy Tesla electric cars using Bitcoin. Payment service Neteller, a big name in the iGaming sector, lets users top up their accounts using digital currencies, while more entertainment platforms around the world are starting to accept Bitcoin, too.
For instance, there has been an explosion in the number of Bitcoin casinos operating in South Africa. The best Bitcoin casinos for South African players have been reviewed and rated by gaming experts to facilitate users to navigate the sea of available platforms where wagers can be made using Bitcoin.
Furthermore, the latest headline showing the mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies is NFL’s Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers announcing a portion of his salary will be made in Bitcoin.
Cryptocurrencies have been gaining traction worldwide over the past few years. PayPal is playing a major role in driving Bitcoin and other digital assets towards the mainstream, as it offers a welcome and easy entry point for beginners to purchase digital currencies themselves on a familiar platform. With such trends, the cryptocurrency market has been starting to open up to more users of all kinds around the world.