PayPal is working on the potential launch of its own stablecoin, showing the increasing potential for cryptocurrency to become used in mainstream payments.
The payments giant confirmed the news after Bloomberg found evidence of code for a "PayPal Coin" in its app.
Stablecoins, whose value is generally linked to a fiat currency, have exploded in use in recent years as a way for traders to move quickly in and out of crypto trades. Some in the industry see them as a way for crypto payments to go mainstream. But regulators have increasingly raised concerns that stablecoins, which are backed by reserves that might have to be liquidated in a crisis, could present a systemic risk to financial markets.
Jose Fernandez da Ponte, senior vice president of crypto and digital currencies at PayPal, previously told Protocol that most stablecoins on the market have limitations in terms of scalability because they're build on the Ethereum ERC-20 standard, which makes them too expensive and slow.
“I don't think that we have seen a stablecoin that works well for payments yet,” da Ponte said.
PayPal is "exploring" a stablecoin and would "work closely with relevant regulators" if it goes ahead with a stablecoin, da Ponte told Bloomberg.
Meta has long been trying to launch a stablecoin through its backing of the Diem project, though its Novi subsidiary recently introduced a crypto wallet that used the Paxos USDP stablecoin instead of the still-unreleased Diem.