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PayPal explores creating its own stablecoin

PayPal is considering developing its own stablecoin as the company expands its crypto business, according to a company representative. In September, sources told CoinDesk that PayPal subsidiary Curv was working on building a stablecoin.

After developer Steve Moser discovered evidence of PayPal’s study into establishing its own stablecoin in the company’s iPhone app and shared it with Bloomberg, Bloomberg broke the storey. Work on a “PayPal Coin” is shown through hidden code and pictures. According to Bloomberg, the code indicates that the coin would be backed by the US dollar.

PayPal has been particularly active in its cryptocurrency efforts recently, boosting the amount of cryptocurrency that its customers can buy, as well as investing in crypto education and striving to allow users to safely withdraw their crypto to third-party wallets. A PayPal spokesperson told Bloomberg that the images and code in the PayPal app came from the company’s blockchain, crypto, and digital currencies division’s recent internal hackathon – an event in which engineers collaborate to quickly explore and build new products that may never see a public release.

In 2013, four years after Satoshi Nakamoto released the Bitcoin white paper, PayPal expressed interest in cryptocurrencies for the first time. In an interview with Bloomberg at the time, PayPal’s president, David Marcus, said the business had been “spent a lot of time looking” at bitcoin and was “thinking about” adding it to “PayPal’s funding mechanism.” The negotiations, however, had no results.

PayPal published a 60-second advertising film named “PayPal Voices” on September 8, 2014, with the slogan “Our phone is our wallet. Without a pocket, we can spend bitcoin with a tap”. The video sparked immediate speculation in the crypto world about whether the online payments titan was about to introduce bitcoin functionality to its platform. Around the time the video was released, PayPal had over 161.5 million customers, indicating a big chance for bitcoin to garner global popular acceptance if the connection was confirmed. This, too, was short-lived, since the video was subsequently replaced by one that was virtually identical but didn’t include the bitcoin phrase: “Our phone doubles as a wallet.”