PayPal CEO Dan Schulman Tells Web Summit the 'Time Is Now' for Crypto

PayPal's Dan Schulman thinks cryptocurrency is on its way to the mainstream.

AccessTimeIconDec 2, 2020 at 1:31 p.m. UTC
Updated May 9, 2023 at 3:13 a.m. UTC

PayPal (PYPL) CEO and President Dan Schulman took to the stage on the first day of the major Web Summit event on Wednesday, telling the estimated 100,000 attendees that for cryptocurrency "the time is now."

Interviewed by New York Times columnist Andrew Ross-Sorkin for the online 2020 tech conference, Schulman anticipated digital currencies soon entering the mainstream and becoming an everyday payments tool. The global coronavirus pandemic has accelerated various trends, such as consumers "abandoning cash," he said.

The coronavirus pandemic "has pulled these trends forward anywhere between three to five years [and] five to six months," according to Schulman.

He continued:

"I think that if you can create a financial system, a new and modern technology that is faster, that is less expensive, more efficient, that's good for bringing more people into the system, for inclusion, to help drive down costs, to help drive financial health for so many people... So, over the long run, I'm very bullish on digital currencies of all kinds."

PayPal announced in October it will begin allowing users to transact with cryptocurrency as a funding instrument across 28 million merchants early next year. The company is already allowing customers to buy, sell and hold cryptocurrencies inside the PayPal wallet, starting in the U.S. Schulman said the company conducted market research in advance that showed 54% of PayPal’s base wanted the crypto offerings. 

"As we thought about it, digital wallets are a natural complement to digital currencies. We've got over 360 million digital wallets and we need to embrace cryptocurrencies," said the PayPal CEO.

Bitcoin's volatility had previously been Schulman's primary concern, prompting him to consider it a "poor form of currency" with the potential to wipe out small merchants' profits. In order to tackle this issue, PayPal will allow consumers to know the exact exchange rate of crypto at the moment of a purchase, removing the volatility risk.

"It bolsters the utility of that underlying cryptocurrency, and you can do more with it than just ride the ups and downs of it," he said. "In effect, you're taking that as an instrument that can conduct commerce at our 28 million merchants." 

Schulman was joined in the session by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.

Tanzeel Akhtar

Tanzeel Akhtar is a reporter based in London,UK.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.