As it stands now, PayPal’s crypto drive is more about keeping regulators happy than providing crypto services to users.
PayPal has confirmed that the company will offer crypto payments on its global platform in the coming months.
The launch will begin in the United States, where a conditional PayPal called Bitlicense of the New York Financial received has. The regulator has the program last summer launched .
The devil is in the details
For crypto, this news is something big. But PayPal is being watched closely. The conditional bit license means that conditional licensees must partner with companies that have a full bit license (in this case that company is Paxos). This will then act as a kind of mentor. As the NYDFS explains, Conditional Licensees may also be subject to „enhanced review as to the scope and frequency of testing or otherwise.“
The conditional license is valid for two years. A renewal or upgrade to a full Bitlicense depends on the decision of Superintendent Linda Lacewell.
PayPal representatives did not want to comment on the form in which an intensified check would take place. Cointelegraph should speak to NYDFS about this. The representatives of the NYDFS did not want to specify exactly what an „intensified check“ would mean for PayPal.
The representatives of Paxos, however, did not want to comment on their role in the conditional Bitlicense from PayPal. This means that all three organizations made this news public, but did not want to go into the details regarding the regulatory agreement. It’s worrying when they don’t want to do this even when asked.
Crypto is what crypto does
Nobody knows which hurdles PayPal, with its more than 340 million users worldwide, still has to overcome in order to satisfy the regulatory authorities. But the company will clearly have to do everything in its power to prevent crypto from behaving like crypto on its platform. Customer data collection, which PayPal has always done, is a problem here.
The PayPal wallet is not only used for storage, but also as a silo. According to the company’s FAQs on cryptocurrencies, users will neither have private keys nor be able to transfer their holdings to other wallets:
„Currently, you can only hold the cryptocurrency that you buy from PayPal in your account. In addition, the cryptocurrency in your account cannot be transferred to other accounts with or outside of PayPal.“
What does that mean? The coins do not belong to the user on PayPal. Other large companies will probably have to comply with this standard in order to work in the crypto sector.
For some time now one has heard of regulatory „whitelists“. These are crypto exchanges and companies that want to adhere to strict regulations and that can only do business with approved wallet addresses. This practice is not yet enshrined in law.
With PayPal it could come to the point that the regulatory authorities only allow crypto on the major platforms if these currencies cannot be transferred to other platforms. This is a more aggressive measure than a whitelist. This means that you are completely dependent on third parties, there is no risk of peer-to-peer transfers, and you cannot interact with people who cannot already open PayPal accounts. That doesn’t really correspond to the crypto idea. At least as it is now.