PayPal was among the first to capture market share in online payment making, but has recently seen a sharp rise in competition from the likes of Venmo, Apple Pay, and other payment methods. With cryptocurrency attracting the attention of the mainstream, and moves such as Coinbase adding merchant payment processing of cryptocurrencies, PayPal will likely face additional competition from payment-focused cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Nano.
According to comments made in a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal by John Rainey, PayPal’s Chief Financial Officer, PayPal is aware of the rise of cryptocurrencies and believes that there is a very high likelihood that Bitcoin will become a popular payment method.
In a portion of the interview called The Crypto Factor, Rainey explained how PayPal was actually one of the first companies to accept Bitcoin on their Braintree platform back in 2015.
Rainey further added:
"The technology, there is a real merit to it. I do think, though, it will be years down the road before we see the kind of ubiquity and acceptance that make it a form of currency that is used every day."
Though Rainey expects Bitcoin to become a payment standard in the future, he raised concerns about the current volatility and how it is unreliable at the moment to use as a currency.
"Given the volatility of bitcoin right now, it’s not a reliable currency for transactions because if you’re a merchant and you have a 10% profit margin, and you accept bitcoin, and the very next day bitcoin drops 15%, you are now underwater on that transaction."
In Q4 2017, PayPal’s payment volume was $131 billion, which is roughly 25% of cryptocurrencies global market cap.