PayPal patent filing suggests speedy crypto transactions in the future
News of a PayPal patent has signalled its intent to speed up crypto transaction processing times, according to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
The company has been to go-to transaction service for digital purchases and transfers over the past decade, with high profile partners integrating and supporting the service. But cryptocurrencies are beginning to provide stiff competition, and the mood of the room has been that PayPal needs to act now rather than get left behind, losing its reputation as one of the market leaders in online payments.
Despite the flaws of Bitcoin and other digital currencies, PayPal comes laden with its own, not least the fees absorbed by the buyers and sellers that use the platform. And despite PayPal’s incredible success – going from $3bn annual turnover in 2010 to $13b in 2017 – the forecast shows a downturn in fortunes should the the threat of the ever-evolving blockchain not be considered acted upon.
What are PayPal’s plans?
However, we still don’t know exactly what the PayPal patent means for the future of the company, or the corner of finance that it controls. The “expedited virtual currency transaction system”, patented on 1st March, only gives us a clue as to how the company plans to harness the power of digital tokens and use them to proliferate global usage of PayPal.
Discussing the risks that businesses face when accepting Bitcoin for payment, PayPal CFO John Rainey said last month to the Wall Street Journal: “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. He added that it would be “years down the road,” before bitcoin becomes a universal option.
And while news of PayPal’s plans to harness Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies will be a boon for those speculating in investments, a fake email sent under the auspices of online money giants paints quite the opposite picture, scaring nearly 200 million users of the service with a supposed warning against trading with crypto. The message read:
“While reviewing your account, we noticed that your activity involves the trading or transfer of crypto currency which is prohibited under our Acceptable Use Policy. As this is not permitted on the PayPal platform we ask that you cease any activity that results in the trading or transfer of crypto currency. If you continue to engage in this activity on PayPal, we’ll be unable to continue offering our services.”
Paypal is yet to comment on this.