PayPal's Move Is Good for Crypto Adoption but Not So Much for Profits: Morgan Stanley

There may be more upside for crypto than for PayPal's earnings, researchers wrote.

Oct 22, 2020 at 7:51 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 10:22 a.m. UTC

PayPal's pledge to support cryptocurrency as a funding source for 26 million merchants will likely benefit mass cryptocurrency adoption more than it will boost the payments firm's bottom line, Morgan Stanley researchers said in a Wednesday report obtained by CoinDesk.

  • The move "should expand crypto acceptance online, which to date has stalled at 1% of the top 500 internet retailers," wrote the Morgan Stanley analysts.
  • It is "unclear" if PayPal's earnings will benefit from that shift. The researchers said bitcoin, bitcoin cash, litecoin and ether funding is "likely immaterial to earnings."
  • "Assuming PayPal is able to scale its crypto trading activity to Square's current level, it would only add [0.3%] of growth to PayPal's ~$21.3 billion" revenue base for 2020, they wrote.
  • The reason: Boosting crypto acceptance doesn't necessarily mean greater transaction volumes.
  • Other upsides of supporting crypto include staying competitive with Square and attracting "a new user base" to PayPal, the researchers said.
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