PayPal assembles new team amid reports of digital currency integration

Online payments giant PayPal is set to integrate digital currencies, according to a new report. The company has already started assembling a team, posting job listings for digital currency and blockchain professionals.

The report by CoinDesk quotes three sources with knowledge on the matter. According to the sources, PayPal and its wholly-owned subsidiary Venmo are working on integrating digital currency purchases for its users. This would avail direct digital currency purchases to over 300 million users, marking a big step towards mainstream adoption.

One of the sources told CoinDesk, “My understanding is that they are going to allow buys and sells of crypto directly from PayPal and Venmo. They are going to have some sort of a built-in wallet functionality so you can store it there.”

The service could be available soon, with one source placing it three months away. PayPal will reportedly source for liquidity from multiple exchanges. He cited Coinbase and Bitstamp as two of the most likely contenders.

PayPal has been preparing for the uptake, with a slew of job listings for cryptography and blockchain professionals. On its official jobs board, the company is looking for a ‘technical lead – crypto engineer’ to be based in Chennai, India. The successful applicant will “design, develop and maintain key crypto product/features targeted towards availability, performance and scalability of PayPal services.”

He/she must also be “passionate about security and thrive in dynamic and high pressure environment and is expert in Cloud Security and Crypto domain.”

PayPal is also looking for a blockchain research engineer to join its strategic enablement team in San Jose, California. The successful applicant will further PayPal’s understanding of blockchain and lead its blockchain implementations. He/she will develop pilot projects that will enable the company to evaluate blockchain’s applicability, performance and scalability.

PayPal has not always been friendly to digital currencies in the past. Its founding CEO Bill Harris is one of the most renowned digital currency skeptics. He has described Bitcoin as a cult, claiming that its supposed advantages are non-existent.

Despite the skepticism, PayPal has been a fiat gateway for a number of digital currency platforms. One of the most notable of these is Coinbase, which allows users to deposit and withdraw fiat through PayPal.

The company was also a member of Facebook’s Libra Association, but it pulled out after the project ran into regulatory issues.

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