PayPal falls after earnings beat estimates but 3rd-quarter guidance disappoints

paypal
  • PayPal shares declined Thursday as third-quarter revenue guidance fell short of expectations.
  • PayPal said eBay’s payments moving off its platform is happening faster than anticipated, dampening its outlook.
  • PayPal’s second-quarter adjusted earnings of $1.15 share beat expectations of $1.12 a share.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

PayPal shares dropped Thursday after third-quarter revenue guidance fell short of expectations as a plan for eBay to migrate its payments off PayPal’s platform is moving faster than anticipated.

PayPal had been processing the online auction company’s payments following eBay’s spinoff of PayPal in 2015. A five-year agreement for such action ended in July 2020. PayPal said late Wednesday it now expects third-quarter revenue of $6.15 billion to $6.25 billion, including a potential “drag” of $465 million from the eBay migration. That outlook is below the $6.45 billion consensus estimate.

PayPal sees an “accelerated pace of merchant migration in international markets, as well as some additional core pressure, which magnifies this result,” the company said during its earnings call late Wednesday.

The stock fell 5% during Thursday’s session and was down by as much as 6.7% to $281.60. The shares fell by more than 5% late Wednesday.

The pullback presents “an attractive opportunity,” Bank of America analyst Jason Kupferberg said in a research note Thursday reiterating its buy rating on PayPal. He said core underlying trends for PayPal remain robust, including second-quarter revenue growing by 32% year-over-year excluding eBay.

“We view the accelerated pace of eBay migration positively, as this headwind will be largely behind PYPL sooner than anticipated,” he wrote.

For the second quarter, adjusted earnings of $1.15 a share beat the estimate of $1.12 a share from a Refinitiv survey of analysts. PayPal’s total revenue climbed to $6.24 billion from $5.26 billion a year earlier but was slightly below the $6.27 billion consensus estimate.

During the second quarter, PayPal added 11.4 million net new active accounts, pushing up active accounts to 403 million. It backed its guidance of adding 52 million to 55 million new active accounts in fiscal year 2021.

So far this year, PalPay shares have gained about 23% and have nearly doubled over the past 12 months.

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PayPal raises the cryptocurrency purchase limit for US customers to $100,000 a week

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In this photo illustration, PayPal logo is seen displayed on a smartphone screen in front of cryptocurrency signs.

PayPal is going to allow US users to spend more crypto every week, as part of its efforts to expand mainstream use of digital assets.

The payments platform said on Thursday it has raised the weekly limit to $100,000 and removed any annual limits to meet its clients’ needs, according to a statement.

“We have been actively engaging with our customers to better understand their needs to help ensure we are providing a trusted and secure platform to buy, hold, sell and checkout with cryptocurrency,” the statement said.

The company’s foray into crypto began in October, when it allowed its US users to buy and sell bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ethereum and litecoin. When the service first started, the spending limit was $10,000.

Within 2 months of the service launching, about 20% of PayPal users said they had been using its crypto services, according to a company survey.

By March this year, Paypal customers were able to pay for goods with crypto as well.

The company said it will offer its clients ongoing education and guidance around cryptocurrencies through in-app guides and learning resources.

Paypal said it hoped to “offer insights into the world of crypto, and help demystify some misconceptions customers may have about crypto.”

A number of regulators around the world have expressed concern about the risks to amateur trades and users of cryptocurrencies due to a lack of education about these products.

Last year, the US was the 6th biggest user of cryptocurrencies, based on crypto-related web activity data, according to ChainAnalysis.

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PayPal will allow users to withdraw crypto funds into third-party wallets

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Online-payments giant PayPal Holdings is now allowing users to withdraw cryptocurrencies to third-party wallets, the company told CoinDesk on Wednesday.

“We want to make it as open as possible, and we want to give choice to our consumers, something that will let them pay in any way they want to pay,” PayPal head of cryptocurrency Jose Fernandez da Ponte said during CoinDesk’s Consensus 2021 conference.

He added: “They want to bring their crypto to us so they can use it in commerce, and we want them to be able to take the crypto they acquired with us and take it to the destination of their choice.”

For now, users cannot move cryptocurrencies out of PayPal although they can buy, sell, and hold digital currencies, a feature offered since October 2020.

The new feature announced Wednesday also applies to Venmo, PayPal’s payments service. Venmo in April allowed users the option to invest in four crypto assets: bitcoin, ethereum, litecoin, and bitcoin cash.

The online giant in November 2020 introduced its new crypto service that lets its users buy, sell, and hold cryptocurrencies to capitalize on the burgeoning cryptocurrency payments market.

Read more: ‘The best time to buy bitcoin is always now’: The founder of the world’s longest-running crypto exchange told us his best advice for navigating the digital currency’s wild volatility

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Is eBay safe? Yes, but its safety protections tend to favor buyers over sellers

ebay box on doorstep with ebay packing tape
Before you buy or sell on eBay, make sure you know what protections the site offers.

  • eBay is safe thanks to its Money Back Guarantee, but some experts are critical of the protections in place for sellers on the site.
  • eBay is more than 25 years old and has developed some robust protections for buyers and sellers in its history.
  • You can buy and sell on eBay with confidence by taking advantage of its built-in protections and using other safety precautions.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

As the second online auction site on the internet, eBay is one of the oldest commercial websites still around. It was founded in the fall of 1995, just months after Onsale.com, the first online auction house.

With age often comes maturity and security, but wondering about the safety of using eBay is a valid concern. Both buyers and sellers frequently wonder about the relative safety of using the site.

eBay is relatively safe to use

The good news is that using eBay, particularly as a buyer, is considered safe. The site has implemented a variety of protections over the years, so the most straightforward problems which victimized early eBay customers decades ago, like fraud, are now largely a thing of the past.

Daniel Foley, a cybersecurity manager for Halcyon London International School and director at Assertive Media, said it’s generally a safe bet for buyers. “Defective products, scams, items that arrive ‘not as described,’ and other issues are all covered by eBay’s extensive buyer protection program,” he said.

woman unpacking boxes with laptop and phone
If your eBay order arrives in a condition “not as described,” you can request a refund.

Foley said that if a seller refuses to accept a return request, eBay often resolves the case in the buyer’s favor and compensates for the loss, while account termination, fines, and other restrictions can be imposed on the seller.

But eBay’s protections aren’t as robust for sellers, said Aaron Bossig, a former eBay seller. “I stopped selling on eBay about five years ago because eBay changed its feedback policy to offer no incentive or safety to the seller,” Bossig said. In particular, he noted the company’s change to disallow sellers to leave any negative or neutral feedback for buyers as a reason for his leaving the platform.

eBay’s protections for buyers

Over the last 25 years, eBay has implemented and enhanced its protection for buyers in an effort to make the site feel like a safe retail environment. Today, buyers are amply protected through eBay’s Money Back Guarantee.

The eBay Money Back Guarantee covers most transactions on eBay. Excluded items are specifically identified as exempt and generally fall into categories like motor vehicles and real estate. If there’s a problem with an order, the buyer is eligible to get a full refund from eBay for the full purchase price plus any shipping charges the buyer paid. Most of the time, the buyer also needs to return the unsatisfactory item to the seller.

Moreover, buyers are protected when they do the following:

  • Purchase an eligible item using an eBay-approved payment method, like PayPal.
  • Pay for the item in a single transaction (you can’t make multiple payments).
  • Pay using the “Pay For It” button on the eBay invoice page or by clicking the “Pay Now” button on the eBay item page.

If there’s a problem with an order, buyers can make a claim in the eBay Resolution Center within 30 days of delivery (or eBay’s estimated delivery date).

eBay’s protections for sellers

Sellers are also offered some protection, though many sellers contend it’s not as robust as what eBay offers to buyers.

store owner shipping box using laptop in shop
eBay offers protections for sellers as well as buyers.

Here are the kinds of protections that eBay offers to sellers:

  • Negative feedback given by “abusive” buyers can be challenged and removed. Abusive buyers are individuals who make false claims, demand things not offered in the original listing, misuse messages, bidding, or returns, or who refuse to pay for items they committed to buy.
  • If the buyer damages a product and returns it, the seller can deduct up to 50% of the item’s value from the refund.
  • Sellers can be refunded the listing fee for an item a buyer won the bid for but opted not to purchase.
  • If an item arrives at the buyer late for reasons beyond the seller’s control, eBay can remove negative feedback for the transaction.

As a seller, you should familiarize yourself with the rules and protections that eBay offers to sellers. “Before you sell, ask yourself: ‘Do I know what to do with a non-paying buyer‘? If you answered no, you probably shouldn’t be selling on eBay yet,” said Kevin Parker, a cybersecurity expert and co-founder of vpnAlert.

How to stay safe on eBay

eBay can be a perfectly safe retail and auction environment, but just like any online activity, you need to be careful and take precautions.

Safety tips for eBay buyers

  • Never take a conversation or transaction off the site. You’re only protected by eBay by operating within the site’s virtual borders, so ignore requests from possibly unscrupulous sellers to complete a deal elsewhere.
  • Read the complete product description and item details. Make sure you understand exactly what is being offered, and its actual condition. Beware of misleading phrases or descriptions that imply things without being explicit.
  • Consider the seller’s rating. Every seller has a rating that indicates how many ratings they’ve received and their overall feedback percentage. Sellers with few ratings or low ratings are less trustworthy than sellers with thousands of happy buyers, obviously.

Safety tips for eBay sellers

  • Write a detailed and accurate product description. Be sure to include photos you have taken yourself, showing the item’s current condition.
  • Use PayPal. Tightly integrated into eBay, PayPal makes it easy to demonstrate a full audit trail and transaction history, to ensure payments are complete, and to trace fraudulent buyers.
  • Keep all paperwork and documentation. Be sure to keep shipping receipts so you can prove how and when you shipped the item.

How to delete an eBay listing you’ve posted in 5 simple stepsHow to issue a refund on eBay in 3 different ways, to satisfy your customersHow to get a refund on eBay using the company’s Money Back GuaranteeHow to sell items on eBay by creating an item listing, and start your own marketplace

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More companies, including PayPal and Xbox, are accepting bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as payment. Others are weighing up their options.

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Retailers are recognizing bitcoin’s growing popularity.

  • Bitcoin is becoming an increasingly popular payment option among many companies.
  • Fast-food chains, big tech firms, and even auction houses are embracing cryptocurrencies.
  • Other companies are still considering their potential.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Rarely does a news cycle go by without some mention of bitcoin’s growing popularity, from fans and skeptics alike.

Its prices on trading exchanges tumbled around Thanksgiving last year – only to roar back and set an all-time high of $19,857 on November 30: a 177% year-to-date increase that put the S&P 500’s 14% rise to shame, as Insider previously reported.

Then, in March, the cryptocurrency hit an all-time high, with prices surging to $60,000. One quirk of the increase meant that two pizzas bought by crypto legend Laszlo Hanyecz would have effectively been worth $613 million, at the time of the surge.

Bitcoin’s volatility is well-publicized and has led many investors, including Warren Buffet, to criticize it and other cryptocurrencies as “risky” and “worthless.” Such warnings have not dissuaded more companies from accepting the currency as an official payment option, however.

In February, Elon Musk announced that Tesla would accept bitcoin as a form of payment for all models of its cars in the US. In addition, Twitter’s CEO and founder, Jack Dorsey, teamed up with Jay-Z for a bitcoin endowment. The pair will invest 500 bitcoins to develop the currency in India and Africa.

Although Tesla stole the headlines, there are also hundreds of other notable companies that accept the cryptocurrency as a valid form of payment, across various industries.

Fast food

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Burger King Venezuela accepts cryptocurrencies as payment.

Restaurant Brands International is one of the world’s largest fast-food holding companies. It is the parent company of Burger King, Tim Hortons, and Popeyes.

Last year, Burger King Venezuela announced it would begin accepting bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. It collaborated with Cryptobuyer, a platform that generates conversion of cryptocurrencies to normal currency, Yahoo Finance reported.

Yum Brands, which operates KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, and The Habit Burger Grill, is also accepting cryptocurrencies.

The corporation permitted bitcoin as a valid payment method at Pizza Hut Venezuela last year. Yum Brands also partnered with CryptoBuyer to initiate the launch of crypto payment methods, according to Nasdaq.

For a short period of time, KFC Canada accepted the cryptocurrency as payment for products such as the Bitcoin Bucket, via a partnership with BitPay, per Yahoo Finance.

Big tech

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PayPal announced in October 2020 that users can buy, sell, and hold selective cryptocurrencies through their Cash or Cash Plus accounts starting in 2021.

After provisionally pausing from accepting the cryptocurrency as a valid payment method due to its volatility, Xbox is accepting bitcoin payments for Xbox store credits.

Meanwhile, PayPal announced in October 2020 that users can buy, sell, and hold selective cryptocurrencies through their Cash or Cash Plus accounts, starting in 2021, Yahoo Finance reports.

Users will also have the ability to learn and track crypto within their PayPal app.

Although Amazon does not directly permit bitcoin as a valid payment method, you can buy Amazon vouchers and gift cards through Bitrefill. This is a crypto-only company that authorizes users to top up subscription-based services, and then spend them on Amazon.

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As well as considering crypto payments, eBay said it was also looking at a “number of ways” to get into the NFT space.

In recent days, eBay Inc announced that it is considering the possibility of accepting cryptocurrency as a valid form of payment in the future.

“We are always looking at the most relevant forms of payment and will continue to assess that going forward. We have no immediate plans, but it (cryptocurrency) is something we are keeping an eye on,” eBay said in a statement to Reuters.

Drinks companies

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Coca-Cola Amatil announced their partnership with an online assets platform, Centrapay, to permit bitcoin as an official payment method last year.

Coca-Cola Amatil is one of the world’s biggest bottlers and distributors of non-alcoholic and ready-to-drink beverages in the Asia Pacific region.

Last year, the company announced in a press release their partnership with an online assets platform, Centrapay. This enabled it to accept bitcoin as an official payment method. There are about 2,000 vending machines in Australia and New Zealand that now accept cryptocurrency, according to a CoinDesk report.

Elsewhere, Starbucks began testing bitcoin payments last year through the app, Bakkt, Nasdaq reported.

The digital asset marketplace app recently launched their digital-wallet application, in which users can convert bitcoin into USD to reload their Starbucks Card.

Art

The logo of Sotheby's auction house is seen at a branch office in Zurich, Switzerland October 25, 2016.   REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann
Sotheby’s said they will start accepting bitcoin or ether as a payment option.

Last week, world-famous auction house Sotheby’s said it will start accepting bitcoin or ether as a payment option when it presents Banksy’s artwork, “Love Is In The Air”, at its contemporary art sale next week in New York.

This will be the first time a major auction house accepts cryptocurrencies for physical artwork, as Insider previously reported.

The move to push crypto and art closer together comes as collectors look for more seamless methods of payment when doing business with Sotheby’s, said Stefan Pepe, Sotheby’s chief technology officer.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Billionaire investor Peter Thiel called out Apple and Google, warned about TikTok and bitcoin, and criticized China at a recent event. Here are the 17 best quotes.

peter thiel
Peter Thiel.

  • Peter Thiel called out Apple and Google for their links to China this week.
  • The billionaire tech investor issued warnings about bitcoin, TikTok, and AI.
  • Thiel wants to restrict US investors’ access to Chinese markets and vice versa.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Billionaire investor Peter Thiel warned bitcoin could serve as a “Chinese financial weapon,” criticized Apple and Google for their connections to China, and suggested TikTok should be banned in the US at a virtual event held by the Richard Nixon Foundation this week.

Thiel, the vocal libertarian who co-founded PayPal and Palantir and sits on the board of Facebook Facebook board member, also expressed concerns about technology theft and artificial intelligence, and called for greater restrictions on Chinese investment in the US and vice versa.

The event was called “The Nixon Seminar on Conservative Realism and National Security,” and the topic of discussion was “Big Tech and China: What do we need from Silicon Valley?”

Here are Thiel’s 17 best quotes from the seminar, lightly edited and condensed for clarity:

1. “Shockingly little innovation happens in China. But they have been very good at copying things, stealing things.”

2. “I criticized Google a few years ago for working with Chinese universities and Chinese researchers. And since everything in China is a civilian-military fusion, Google was effectively working with the Chinese military. One of the things that I was sort of told by some of the insiders at Google was they figured they might as well give the technology out the front door, because if they didn’t give it, it would get stolen anyway.”

3. “I had a set of conversations with some of the DeepMind AI people at Google. I asked them, ‘Is your AI being used to run the concentration camps in Xinjiang?’ and they said, ‘Well, we don’t know and don’t ask any questions.’ You have this almost magical thinking that by pretending everything is fine, that’s how you engage and have a conversation, and you make the world better.”

4. “If you look at the big five tech companies, Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Microsoft all have very, very little presence in China. So they aren’t a naturally pro-China constituency. Apple is probably the one that’s structurally a real problem, because the whole iPhone supply chain gets made from China.”

5. “We need to call companies like Google out for working on AI with communist China. I also think we should be putting a lot of pressure on Apple.”

6. “At Facebook, during the Hong Kong protests a year ago, the employees from Hong Kong were all in favor of the protests and free speech. But there were more employees at Facebook who were born in China than who were born in Hong Kong. And the Chinese nationals actually said that it was just Western arrogance, and they shouldn’t be taking Hong Kong’s side and things like that. The internal debate felt like people were actually more anti-Hong Kong than pro-Hong Kong.”

7. “TikTok is problematic because it has this incredible exfiltration of data about people. You are creating this incredibly privacy-invading map of a large part of the population of the Western world. It is a fairly powerful application of AI in a certain sense, as they find ways to make it especially addictive and figure out what videos to show you to keep you watching more and more. It doesn’t seem that if you shut it down, it would be an economic catastrophe.”

8. “In a totalitarian society, you have no qualms about getting data on everybody, in every way possible. That makes AI a very tricky technology, because there are a lot of ways we don’t actually want to apply it in the US or West.” – highlighting the Chinese government’s use of AI for widescale facial recognition.

9. “People often say crypto or bitcoin is a vaguely libertarian technology. If crypto is kind of libertarian, AI is kind of communist.”

10. “Even though I’m sort of a pro-crypto, pro-bitcoin maximalist person, I do wonder whether bitcoin should be partly thought of as a Chinese financial weapon against the US. It threatens fiat money, especially the US dollar, and China wants to do things to weaken the dollar. If China’s long bitcoin, perhaps the US should be asking some tougher questions about exactly how that works.”

11. “An internal stable coin in China – that’s not a real cryptocurrency. That’s just some sort of totalitarian measuring device.”

12. “Make it harder for Chinese investors to invest in the US, and perhaps we should also make it a little bit harder for American investors to invest in China. We have US investors that invest in China and become a big constituency for open capital flows. I think a decent part of the Wall Street crowd is pretty bad in this regard. I would dial it back on both sides – making it harder for US investors to invest in China is an almost equally important part of this.”

13. “China doesn’t like the US having the reserve currency, because it gives us a lot of leverage over Iranian oil supply chains and all sorts of things like that. You can think of the Euro in part as a Chinese weapon against the dollar. China would have liked to see two reserve currencies.”

14. “One of the very strange dynamics in Silicon Valley is people don’t do very much with semiconductors anymore. One of the weird problems with 20 years of intellectual property theft, and where IP doesn’t really have as much value as it used to, is that you learn not to invest in things like that.”

15. “People are too anchored to doing things that worked in the past or copying some model. Building a new search engine was the right thing for Google to do in 1999. It’s probably not the right thing to do today. It’s very hard to compete against Google by doing the exact same thing they are doing.”

16. “You can think of big tech as something that’s very natural. It’s maybe unnaturally big. It’s unhealthy. It’s too strong. But there’s something in the nature of tech to be big. Big science is actually an oxymoron. If you have some giant science factory, there’s probably not much science going on at all.” – criticizing how science has become overly institutionalized and dominated by large corporations.

17. “De-platforming President Trump was really quite extraordinary. That does feel like you really crossed some kind of Rubicon where you declare war on maybe a third, 40% of the country – that seems really crazy.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

More companies are accepting bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as payment, including PayPal and Starbucks, despite warnings about its volatility

GettyImages 1230566081
Retailers are recognizing bitcoin’s growing popularity.

Rarely does a news cycle go by without some mention of bitcoin’s growing popularity, from fans and skeptics alike.

Its prices on trading exchanges tumbled around Thanksgiving last year – only to roar back and set an all-time high of $19,857 on November 30: a 177% year-to-date increase that put the S&P 500’s 14% rise to shame, as Insider previously reported.

Then, last month, the cryptocurrency hit an all-time high, with prices surging to $60,000. One quirk of the increase meant that two pizzas bought by crypto legend Laszlo Hanyecz would have effectively been worth $613 million.

Bitcoin’s volatility is well-publicized and has led many investors, including Warren Buffet, to criticize it and other cryptocurrencies as “risky” and “worthless.” Such warnings have not dissuaded more companies from accepting the currency as an official payment option, however.

In February, Elon Musk announced that Tesla would accept bitcoin as a form of payment for all models of its cars in the US. In addition, Twitter’s CEO and founder, Jack Dorsey, teamed up with Jay-Z for a bitcoin endowment. The pair will invest 500 bitcoins to develop the currency in India and Africa.

Although Tesla stole the headlines, there are also hundreds of other notable companies that accept the cryptocurrency as a valid form of payment, across various industries.

Fast food

6046324e2db4af00117e40c2
Burger King Venezuela accepts cryptocurrencies as payment.

Restaurant Brands International is one of the world’s largest fast-food holding companies. It is the parent company of Burger King, Tim Hortons, and Popeyes.

Last year, Burger King Venezuela announced it will begin accepting bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. It collaborated with Cryptobuyer, a platform that generates conversion of cryptocurrencies to normal currency, Yahoo Finance reported.

Yum Brands, which operates KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, and The Habit Burger Grill, is also accepting cryptocurrencies.

The corporation permitted bitcoin as a valid payment method at Pizza Hut Venezuela last year. Yum Brands also partnered with CryptoBuyer to initiate the launch of crypto payment methods, according to Nasdaq.

For a short period of time, KFC Canada accepted the cryptocurrency as payment for products such as the Bitcoin Bucket, via a partnership with BitPay, per Yahoo Finance.

Big tech

AP19203571404037
PayPal announced in October 2020 that users can buy, sell, and hold selective cryptocurrencies through their Cash or Cash Plus accounts starting in 2021.

After provisionally pausing from accepting the cryptocurrency as a valid payment method due to its volatility, Xbox is accepting bitcoin payments for Xbox store credits.

Meanwhile, PayPal announced in October 2020 that users can buy, sell, and hold selective cryptocurrencies through their Cash or Cash Plus accounts, starting in 2021, Yahoo Finance reports.

Users will also have the ability to learn and track crypto within their PayPal app.

Although Amazon does not directly permit bitcoin as a valid payment method, you can buy Amazon vouchers and gift cards through Bitrefill. This is a crypto-only company that authorizes users to top up subscription-based services, and then spend them on Amazon.

Drinks companies

AP21040298585553
Coca-Cola Amatil announced their partnership with an online assets platform, Centrapay, to permit bitcoin as an official payment method last year.

Coca-Cola Amatil is one of the world’s biggest bottlers and distributors of non-alcoholic and ready-to-drink beverages in the Asia Pacific region.

Last year, the company announced in a press release their partnership with an online assets platform, Centrapay, to permit bitcoin as an official payment method. There are about 2,000 vending machines in Australia and New Zealand that now accept cryptocurrency, according to a CoinDesk report.

Elsewhere, Starbucks began testing bitcoin payments last year through the app, Bakkt, Nasdaq reported.

This week, the digital asset marketplace app launched their digital-wallet application, in which users can convert bitcoin into USD to reload their Starbucks Card.

Read the original article on Business Insider

PayPal customers can now use cryptocurrency to pay merchants. Its CEO bought a pair of cowboy boots in the platform’s first crypto checkout transaction.

Dan Schulman
PayPal President and CEO Dan Schulman.

  • PayPal told Reuters that it was now letting US consumers use cryptocurrency holdings to pay online.
  • Customers can use bitcoin, ether, bitcoin cash, or litecoin in their PayPal digital wallets to pay merchants.
  • CEO Dan Schulman told Fast Company he made the first cryptocurrency purchase, buying a pair of cowboy boots.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

PayPal has started allowing US consumers to use their cryptocurrency holdings to pay at millions of its online merchants globally, it announced Tuesday.

Customers who hold bitcoin, ether, bitcoin cash, and litecoin in PayPal digital wallets would now be able to convert their holdings into fiat currencies at checkouts to make purchases, the company told Reuters.

President and CEO Dan Schulman told Fast Company he made the first official purchase using the new checkout system, buying a pair of cowboy boots.

The service, which PayPal revealed it was working on late last year, started rolling out on Tuesday, and would be available to all US customers “over the next few weeks,” Schulman said.

Customers can already use it at half of PayPal’s 29 million merchants across the world, he added.

“This is the first time you can seamlessly use cryptocurrencies in the same way as a credit card or a debit card inside your PayPal wallet,” Schulman told Reuters.

Read more: PayPal is seeing high engagement numbers from crypto holders on its app as digital currency is shaping up to be a key part of the payment giant’s future strategy

Checkout with Crypto builds on the ability for PayPal users to buy, sell, and hold cryptocurrencies, which the San Jose, California-based payments company launched in October.

The offering made PayPal one of the largest mainstream financial companies to open its network to cryptocurrencies and helped fuel a rally in virtual coin prices.

Bitcoin has nearly doubled in value since the start of this year, boosted by increased interest from larger financial firms that are betting on greater adoption and see it as a hedge against inflation.

PayPal’s launch comes less than a week after Tesla said it would start accepting bitcoin payments for its cars. Unlike PayPal transactions, where merchants will be receiving fiat currency, Tesla said it will hold the bitcoin used as payment.

Still, while the nascent asset is gaining traction among mainstream investors, it has yet to become a widespread form of payment, due in part to its continued volatility.

PayPal hopes its service can change that, as by settling the transaction in fiat currency, merchants will not take on the volatility risk.

“We think it is a transitional point where cryptocurrencies move from being predominantly an asset class that you buy, hold and or sell to now becoming a legitimate funding source to make transactions in the real world at millions of merchants,” Schulman told Reuters.

The company said it would charge no transaction fee to checkout with crypto and only one type of coin could be used for each purchase.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Billionaire Peter Thiel donates $10 million to ‘Hillbilly Elegy’ author J.D. Vance’s potential Senate run

J.D. Vance
J.D. Vance is the author of the best-selling memoir “Hillbilly Elegy.”

  • The Cincinnati Enquirer reports Peter Thiel gave $10 million to J.D. Vance’s possible Senate bid.
  • Thiel donated to the Protect Ohio Values PAC, an organization supporting Vance’s candidacy.
  • Vance had previously worked for Thiel’s Mithril Capital Management investment firm.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Billionaire Peter Thiel is backing J.D. Vance’s possible run for the US Senate.

Thiel, the cofounder of PayPal, donated $10 million to the Protect Ohio Values PAC, the group told the Cincinnati Enquirer. Protect Ohio Values was formed last month to recruit Vance to run for retiring US Sen. Rob Portman’s Ohio seat.

“Protect Ohio Values PAC is amplifying the many voice who want JD Vance to be Ohio’s next US Senator,” Protect Ohio Values PAC spokesperson Bryan Lanza said in a statement to Insider.

J.D. Vance wrote the best-selling memoir “Hillbilly Elegy,” which recounted his childhood growing up in a white working class Rust Belt town. The Netflix film adaption of “Hillbilly Elegy” recently picked up an Oscar nomination.

Read more: At least 22 governors haven’t gotten their COVID-19 vaccine, Insider found. Here’s who – and why.

Thiel also gave Vance financial backing last year, when Vance launched the venture capital fund Narya Capital. Narya invests in tech and science pursuits in cities outside of coastal tech hubs.

Vance had worked for Thiel’s Mithril Capital Management investment firm after graduating from Yale Law School in 2013.

Thiel had been a vocal supporter for Donald Trump during his 2016 campaign and presidency, but backed away from his 2020 reelection campaign. The tech investor had previously put $850,000 into a PAC that backed former secretary of state of Kansas Kris Kobach’s failed 2020 senate bid.

Thiel did not immediately return a request for comment.

Read the original article on Business Insider