The benefits of the integration are obvious. Merchants would be able to add a payment option that works with their existing checkout infrastructure, and so attract more happy customers without incremental work. Consumers, who are increasingly using Bitcoin and looking for places to spend it, would have more options to use their bitcoins without having to convert them to fiat currency first. Of course, more choice in payment methods is always a good thing for both merchants and consumers. Additionally, bitcoin via PayPal could present low-cost opportunities to send funds globally.
Recently Peter Thiel, a legendary venture capitalist and a co-founder of Paypal, stated that Bitcoin is the opposite of Paypal, because the two initiatives, though founded on the same set of ideas, developed in opposite direction.
Miller insists instead on the similarities and argues that PayPal became a traditional, mainstream financial institution, but Bitcoin is the new PayPal – it’s the true embodiment of the original revolutionary spirit of PayPal, and PayPal done right.
“[B]itcoin embodies much of the core mission that PayPal originally set out to achieve. Back in 2000, the mission statement of the company was ‘Democratizing Global Payments.’ Seeded in that was a desire (made explicit within the company at the time) that we wanted to allow anyone, anywhere in the world, to send frictionless funds on the cheap (relatively). [I]t didn’t exactly work out that way, as PayPal was merely built on top of existing, decades-old payment infrastructure – and it’s not cheap to use – but there was an appetite for that libertarian-esque approach at the time and it galvanized us all. I was one of the original employees at PayPal, and the bitcoin announcement felt full circle in a way from those roots.”
Miller argues that while Bitcoin is still too vulnerable to fraud and theft for mass adoption by consumers, the Bitcoin protocol has inherent to it multi-signature capabilities that, if executed correctly, can create a highly secure environment that exceeds the approach of institutions for traditional financial transactions, and make individuals sovereign again over their money.
What do you think of the similarity and difference, cooperation or competition between Bitcoin and Paypal? Comment below!
Images from PayPal, Denys Prykhodov and Shutterstock.