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Paypal has now officially entered the cryptocurrency market, allowing crypto payments and adding wallet services. Customers can buy, sell and hold bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies alongside their fiat. According to Reuters users will be able to shop with cryptocurrencies at all 26 million merchants in Paypal’s network starting in early 2021.
The announcement is a first step for Paypal into the crypto space. The payment company wants to encourage the use of digital money and prepare its network for digital currencies developed by central banks and corporations.
American users will be able to spend and store their bitcoin in a few weeks. The service will also be expanded to the mobile payment system Venmo. Other countries will join Paypal’s venture into the crypto space in the first half of 2021.
In the past 24 hours the price of bitcoin increased 4.1 percent. Right now the price of BTC is $12.348. It’s the first time since early September that bitcoin broke the $12.000 resistance.
Paypal, crypto and gaming
Normally I don’t write about cryptocurrency pricing. Simply because it’s not really relevant. However, Paypal entering this space is very relevant. They have 346 million active accounts all over the world, and many gaming projects use Paypal as a payment option. If you want to buy card packs for Hearthstone and lootboxes for Overwatch, you will likely pay with Paypal. The same can be said about V-bucks in Fortnite. There’s an audience of 2 billion gamers that will now be able to pay for their games using cryptocurrencies.
From using cryptocurrencies it’s only a small step into blockchain gaming and non-fungible tokens. In addition Paypal makes acquiring digital assets much easier. Paying from crypto art or some in-game items using Paypal works much smoother than going to an exchange, getting your ETH on your Metamask, and then buying something.
Blockchain makes user acquisition hard
Paypal will open up the doors for many newcomers into the blockchain space. Compared with traditional games, blockchain-powered games often have some difficult hurdles to take. The user experience involving the creation of cryptocurrency wallets, private keys, buying cryptocurrencies or paying transaction fees can be rather troublesome.
Paypal is one way to make things easier, but there are all kinds of initiatives to make the process smoother. Second-layer solutions like Matic Network lower the fees for transactions on the Ethereum network. These type of solutions will not only benefit transaction fees, but also the transaction speed. In addition services like Arkane Network already allow for easier on-boarding.
Improvement of the user experience doesn’t only come from a technology point of view. The studios behind all these blockchain games also need to think about their game design. Games like Gods Unchained and Sorare first give players some free non-blockchain cards, before users get in touch with anything involving blockchain technology. Sky Mavis is planning something similar for their popular game Axie Infinity, while mobile games like Chainz Arena, Brave Frontier Heroes and Knight Story already offer a lite experience without the need for blockchain knowledge.
Robert Hoogendoorn is a gamer and blockchain enthusiast. He got in touch with crypto in 2014, but the fire really lit in 2017. Professionally he’s a content optimization expert and worked for press agencies and video production companies, always with a focus on the video games & tech industry. He’s a content manager and creator at heart, working on Play to Earn and for a variety of third party magazines and websites.