In spite of the environmental and regulatory ills that generally come with crypto as a currency, PayPal’s bitcoin ambitions keep on ramping up. On Wednesday, Jose Fernandez da Ponte — the company’s VP of all things blockchain — confirmed in an interview that PayPal-ers will soon be able to withdraw their crypto into any wallet they want.
While the company didn’t confirm when it would be rolling out this new feature, it likely can’t come soon enough for bitcoin bros who are currently using PayPal’s platform. When the company first brought bitcoin, ethereum, and litecoin purchases to its platform late last year, it generated a fair bit of backlash from the crypto community as a whole. Their core complaint with PayPal’s offerings was that while the company was letting people buy and sell crypto — and even convert that crypto into dollars and cents — bitcoiners couldn’t share those coins with each other. More recently, when PayPal-owned Venmo brought bitcoin buys onto its own platform, you saw the same issue: customers could use Venmo to buy and sell their own coins, but transfers weren’t on the table.
Apparently, PayPal is listening to those criticisms. “We understand there is more utility to those tokens if you can move them around,” da Ponte said during the Wednesday interview, adding that the company is “definitely exploring” how it can let people “transfer crypto to and from their PayPal addresses.”
“We want to make it as open as possible, and we want to give choice to our consumers, something that will let them pay in any way they want to pay,” he added. “They 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.”
PayPal on the whole has banked hard on winning over the crypto community over the past year. During a recent earnings call, CEO Dan Schulman hinted that the strategy has already been paying off, telling shareholders that PayPal is seeing “a tremendous amount of really great results” from its investments in crypto-tech thus far. Granted, we’ve also seen the net worth of the most popular cryptos — particularly Bitcoin — plummet hard over this past month, which is a good reminder of how volatile these digital currencies are. Even if PayPal’s CEO keeps trying to bring crypto into the mainstream, that instability is sure to keep some customers far away.