Following Visa, PayPal launched a checkout service today that allows people with Bitcoin balances within PayPal to spend it anywhere that accepts PayPal.
Upon payment the Bitcoin is sold by PayPal and converted to USD to pay the merchant.
Dan Schulman, CEO of PayPal, awkwardly purchased a pair of size 9.5 cowboy boots with Bitcoin to showcase the new feature.
This news follows PayPal’s announcement last October when they announced that their customers could buy, hold, and sell Bitcoin from within the app.
While I am all for more opportunities for people to dip their toes in Bitcoin, something rubs me the wrong way about PayPal’s closed off strategy.
PayPal will let you buy and sell Bitcoin from within their app, but they won’t let you move your Bitcoin off the service. In this scenario, the Bitcoin you buy through PayPal are not really yours to move, save, spend, or pay people with outside the PayPal ecosystem.
This is the kind of middleman that Bitcoin was intentionally designed to work without.
On the other side of the spectrum (and follow up from last week), Tesla contributed security updates back to one of the open source projects they used to implement decentralized Bitcoin payments.
Tesla seems to be the darling company rallying behind the original Bitcoin vision.
Time will tell which approach works best.