Why crypto communities are baffled by PayPal’s Bitcoin and Ethereum descriptions Why crypto communities are baffled by PayPal’s Bitcoin and Ethereum descriptions
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Why crypto communities are baffled by PayPal’s Bitcoin and Ethereum descriptions

Why crypto communities are baffled by PayPal’s Bitcoin and Ethereum descriptions

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

PayPal, the payments conglomerate, integrated crypto purchases in October 2020, earning praise from the cryptocurrency community. But industry executives and crypto investors are bewildered by the company’s descriptions of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin.

How did PayPal describe Bitcoin and other major crypto assets?

Albeit PayPal’s descriptions of major crypto assets are not factually incorrect, industry executives pinpointed the awkward wording of the descriptions. As an example, PayPal described Bitcoin as:

“Bitcoin (BTC) introduced innovations that showed crypto could someday be as commonly used as cash and credit. It set off a revolution that has since inspired thousands of variations on the original. Someday soon, you might be able to buy just about anything and send money to anyone using bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies.”

The description had no mention of Bitcoin being used as a store of value, which has become its main use case in recent years. It does not explain that BTC is a decentralized cryptocurrency with fungibility and transportability, unlikely other safe-haven assets and stores of the vale.

OnChainFX creator Dan McArdle, who initially shared the descriptions of top cryptocurrencies by PayPal, wrote:

The descriptions of Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash all carried a similar tone. PayPal seemingly tried to word it in a simple manner that everyone, including individuals who never heard of Bitcoin before, would understand.

Some users said that the simple approach of PayPal to explain cryptocurrencies in the most basic sense could be useful.

A pseudonymous user said that despite the lack of depth in the descriptions, they might appeal to the mainstream better. The user stated:

“While these descriptions lack any real depth or insight into what crypto it in general, or any of the currencies specifically, the average person just really doesn’t care and simple is prob better.”

In contrast, Cash App, as an example, which processed $1.63 billion worth of Bitcoin sales in the third quarter of 2020, emphasized the technical specifications of BTC in its description.

Square’s Cash App emphasized cryptography, cryptocurrency, decentralization, and peer-to-peer technology in its description of Bitcoin. The Cash App’s “What is Bitcoin” page reads:

“Bitcoin is the first and most well known example of a new kind of money called a ‘cryptocurrency.’ It creates, holds, and transfers value using cryptographic equations and codes to ensure that transactions can only be completed once. One of Bitcoin’s most important characteristics is that it is decentralized using peer-to-peer technology—meaning no single institution can control the Bitcoin network.

PayPal’s foray into crypto is nonetheless optimistic

PayPal is valued at $221 billion as of November 13, 2020. When such a major financial conglomerate integrates cryptocurrencies, which it has not done before at this scale, there inevitably would be components to improve.

Nonetheless, PayPal’s integration of crypto purchases and major cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin, is overall optimistic for the sector. Following the PayPal integration, institutional and retail demand for cryptocurrencies noticeably increased, lifting the overall market sentiment.

bitcoin price
The daily price chart of Bitcoin since March. Source: BTCUSD on
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