Payment giant PayPal will soon let users to withdraw Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to external wallets, reports Reuters.
The move would allow PayPal and Venmo users to send Bitcoin to others via the app, directly to crypto exchanges, and to cold storage.
PayPal and Venmo have encouraged US-based users to buy and sell a handful of different cryptocurrencies since last October.
However, all digital assets bought via the apps must stay there (they’re both closed-loop systems). PayPal allowed users to spend crypto with merchants in March (but they still get fiat).
“[Users] 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,” said crypto VP Jose Fernandez da Ponte (via CoinDesk).
The decision likely springs from the “higher demand” PayPal chief exec Dan Schulman disclosed last month.
In a TIME Magazine’s interview, Schulman said demand for crypto via PayPal rose “multiple-fold to what we initially expected. There’s a lot of excitement.”
It’s unclear whether that enthusiasm has persisted now that Bitcoin’s price has halved.
In any case, there’s no word on when PayPal will let users to withdraw Bitcoin. Da Ponte reportedly said new developments are shipped every two months on average.
PayPal drew flak for not letting users withdraw Bitcoin
San Jose-headquartered PayPal faced heavy criticism last October for not giving users access to their private keys.
Crypto wallet manufacturer Trezor even penned a scathing blog post encouraging crypto users not to use PayPal to buy and sell digital assets.
“If millions of newcomers are onboarded to Bitcoin by PayPal, there could be a very serious information gap that jeopardizes their experience and undermines key principles of cryptocurrency,” said Prague-based Trezor.
“No-one should consider money held entirely by a third party as owned by them.”
Still, PayPal’s gradual crypto expansion seems to be having an effect.
The company said PayPal’s crypto users had logged into the platform twice as often after crypto support was activated, CoinDesk noted.
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