PayPal Holdings said yesterday that it would allow users to hold bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in its online wallet and shop at 26 million merchants on the company's network using alt coins.
The company said that in the coming weeks, US account holders would be able to buy, sell and hold cryptocurrencies in their PayPal wallets. From early next year, they will also be able to process cryptocurrency payments.
PayPal plans to expand this service to other countries in the first half of 2021.
President and CEO of PayPal Dan Schulman said in an interview that the company hopes the service will encourage global use of virtual coins amid the central bank's plans to develop digital versions of their currencies.
"We are working with central banks and thinking of all forms of digital currencies and how PayPal can play a role," he said.
After PayPal's announcement, Bitcoin soared to its highest value since July 2019, gaining 8.5 percent to $12,915, surpassing the previous high for the year of $12,473 in August..
Gains among alt coins were even larger, as Litecoin jumped more than 13 percent and Bitcoin Cash surged more than 9 percent.