PayPal CFO John Rainey has said that Bitcoin adoption on the platform is “a little early right now”, but has admitted that the platform is exploring blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Speaking on the subject during an interview with Yahoo Finance, Rainey added that a previous experiment with allowing merchants to accept Bitcoin payments wasn’t successful enough for them to continue it, but that PayPal will center the crypto market when the time is right.
Volatility Spooks Merchants
Speaking about PayPal’s decision to allow merchants to accept Bitcoin back in January 2018, Rainey said:
…what we saw, because of the instability of the currency, the fact that there was so much volatility from one day to the next, if a merchant accepted that they would quickly convert it into a more stable currency like the Euro or U.S. dollar, and so there wasn’t a lot of appetite for that.
Rainey nevertheless paved the way for PayPal to adopt cryptocurrencies in some form in the future, stating that the company had teams that were “clearly” working on blockchain and cryptocurrency, adding that “we want to participate in that in whatever form it takes in the future.”
Change of Direction for PayPal
Rainey’s actions mark a departure in the company’s attitude to Bitcoin and cryptocurrency given the view of former CEO Bill Harris, who in 2018 called it “a scam” and “a colossal pump-and-dump scheme, the likes of which the world has never seen.” Harris only ran the company for one month in 2000 before being ousted, amid accusations that he was using “unproductive approaches” and that his views were outdated. It seems that PayPal now has a board of directors with a more forward-thinking outlook rather than one that sticks its head in the sand and looks backwards.