When Bitcoin first emerged in 2009, it was difficult to predict where this pioneering cryptocurrency would end up. While critics claimed that the digital currency could not hold up as a store of value, others began to invest in what they believed was ‘digital gold’. Fast-forward a decade, and we can see that Bitcoin’s lifespan has been characterised by volatility, with the coin experiencing many highs and lows.
In 2020, however, Bitcoin has truly stolen the limelight, and global payment providers such as Paypal and Square have been eager to board the crypto train! Paypal has been flirting with the idea of introducing crypto-centric features on its payment platform for years, and it seems that the news has finally been confirmed. Paypal account holders (in the United States) will imminently be able to buy, hold and sell popular cryptocurrencies through their digital wallet. Plans are also in the pipeline for the payment platform to start facilitating the use of cryptocurrencies to purchase items from its network of merchants, by converting crypto balances and settling transactions in fiat currency.
This news bolstered Bitcoin’s price value up past the critical $12,000 mark last week. Market spectators previously predicted that this highly-anticipated move could potentially signal the start of Bitcoin’s rally towards a new all-time-high. Paypal’s announcement came shortly after another payment company, Square, invested approximately 1% of their assets in purchasing around $50 million worth of Bitcoin. As big tech companies turn their attention towards Crypto, it seems that traders and investors are following suit with the markets showing evidence that interest in the world’s most popular cryptos is growing rapidly.
How will these Big Moves Affect Crypto?
Rumours about these two fintech giants ‘cryptocurrency endeavours have understandably generated excitement among investors and traders, as this news marks a significant milestone for digital coins.
With a strong 346 million active users and 26 million merchants worldwide, Paypal’s now-confirmed decision to include Bitcoin and other coins in its network could prove to be a watershed event in the move towards the widespread adoption of virtual currencies as a form of payment. Paypal will also support the buying, selling and holding of other virtual coins, such as Ether, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash. This news was well-received by the crypto community, with each of these coins experiencing a positive bump in their value.
The Other Side of The Coin
However, sceptics have been quick to point out that this move may have an adverse impact on the crypto sphere. Some argue that Paypal will be imposing restrictions on its crypto services, such as not being able to withdraw their digital assets to another wallet, or conduct transactions among friends and family, which could lead to complications for Bitcoin users.
Fintech experts also point out that, since cryptocurrencies have traditionally been viewed as an investment asset, it’s not guaranteed that people will now be willing to spend their coins on goods. Despite enabling easier crypto transactions across its widespread network of merchants, big crypto spending may remain a phenomenon reserved for the darknet.
A Big Year for Bitcoin: 2020 at a glance
Starting the year at just $7,100, the leading Cryptocurrency has been fluctuating around the $13,200 mark this past week, reaching as high as $13,857. Bitcoin was not immune to the market crash in March, and the assets price fell to around $5,000. The popular crypto is proving its strength once again, however, as it continues to climb the market charts!
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