PayPal released a new feature on Tuesday that will allow online shoppers to make purchases with cryptocurrency at millions of online stores. The digital payments giant’s “Checkout with Crypto” service is the latest move by a major corporation to expand the use of digital currencies like bitcoin.
PayPal already allows users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies through its platform. Now their crypto holdings will appear as a payment option alongside their bank account or credit card when they’re checking out at eligible online stores, PayPal says.
PayPal says it will process the payments by converting the customer’s cryptocurrency into traditional cash for the business without a transaction fee.
The new service is available to US customers at millions of online businesses and will continue to expand in the coming months, the company says. It only supports four cryptocurrencies for now — bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin — and only one type of coin can be used for each purchase.
PayPal contends the move supports the company’s goal of offering choices for shoppers and businesses alike and called it a “natural extension” of the services it already offers merchants.
“Enabling cryptocurrencies to make purchases at businesses around the world is the next chapter in driving the ubiquity and mass acceptance of digital currencies,” PayPal president and CEO Dan Schulman said in a statement.
PayPal’s announcement came just a day after credit-card giant Visa announced that it would let customers use the USD Coin cryptocurrency to settle transactions on its payment network.
The financial-services stalwarts joined the likes of Mastercard and BNY Mellon, the nation’s oldest bank, in embracing cryptocurrency amid a staggering rally in the price of bitcoin.
Tesla also announced last week that it started accepting bitcoin as payment for its electric cars, six weeks after revealing that it had invested $1.5 billion of its corporate cash in the world’s biggest cryptocurrency.
Bitcoin was trading up about 1.7 percent at $59,083.54 as of 9:43 a.m. Tuesday, while Ethereum, the world’s second-largest crypto coin by market value, was recently up about 3.2 percent at $1,840.82, according to CoinDesk.
PayPal shares, meanwhile, were recently down about 0.5 percent at $234.40 in early trading.