Bitcoin started moving North after PayPal announced that its U.S.-based customers can now use BTC and other cryptocurrencies as a payment method to buy goods from its 26+ million merchants globally.
Announced Tuesday, PayPal’s Checkout will enable bitcoin (BTC), ether (ETH), bitcoin cash (BCH) and litecoin (LTC) to be seamlessly converted into USD or other fiat currencies when making purchases, the same as credit card or a debit card would work inside a PayPal wallet, said PayPal – meaning merchants will not actually be the recipients of cryptocurrencies.
Though the payments firm had said last year it was working on this feature, the news of it was enough to drive up the currencies involved, especially BTC which surged more than $1,000.
Calling it “a new way for businesses to get paid,” the checkout service is driving mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies, said PayPal CEO Dan Schulman.
“Enabling cryptocurrencies to make purchases at businesses around the world is the next chapter in driving the ubiquity and mass acceptance of digital currencies,” Schulman said in a statement.
Cryptocurrencies are going mainstream with banks and institutional investors taking an interest, but the utility of bitcoin and other crypto assets when it comes to buying goods has always been limited because of their volatility.
But PayPal, which made a notable splash when it officially entered the crypto space last October, aims to smooth those wrinkles out and get its wide network of merchants onboard.
The world’s flagship cryptocurrency immediately responded to the news and started going up. At the time of writing, BTC is changing hands at $59,200 on leading exchanges.
It has risen from slightly above $57,000 over the past hour.
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