Set up in 1998, PayPal serves 330 million users in more than 200 countries and regions around the world, supporting online transactions in more than 100 currencies. Credit: Handout

The CEO of PayPal believes cryptos are finally entering the mainstream, thanks in part to hygiene challenges arising from the Covid-19 pandemic, which has highlighted the advantages of “digital payments and digital forms of currency.”

In an interview with CNBC, Dan Schulman said “the use of cash has declined precipitously … 40 to 70% of consumers no longer want to handle cash, and just like every other industry is digitizing right now, that is happening in the financial services world.”

PayPal recently announced that it would allow its 300 million active customers to to buy and hold cryptocurrencies, and soon the global service will enable businesses to accept digital forms of payment by integrating with existing merchant payments platforms. 

Schulman said, “One of the things that we allowed is not just making it easy to buy, sell and hold cryptocurrencies, but very importantly, early next year, we’re going to allow cryptocurrencies to be a funding source for any transaction happening on all 28 million of our merchants. And that will significantly bolster the utility of cryptocurrencies.”

Schulman believes central banks around the world will soon follow China’s lead and issue their own digital currencies, and that it will be good for the development of crypto in general.

He said, “It’s a matter of not if but when and how we’ll start to see more and more central banks issue forms of digital currencies. I think you’ll have more and more utility happen with cryptocurrency.”

PayPal rolled out its crypto trading services in the US earlier this month and they will be going global early next year.

Bitcoin’s ongoing monster price rally, which has recently seen it soar to nearly $19,000, just short of its all-time high of $20,000, has been attributed to PayPal and other companies scooping up the crypto faster than it is being mined.

PayPal itself has bought 70% of all the recently mined bitcoin, generating much excitement among investors because they believe it will result in a supply crunch that puts even more upward pressure on the price.

Read: Bitcoin could hit $318K in 2021, says Citibank