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PayPal forms a crypto and blockchain advisory committee

PayPal, a major U.S. payment processor, has put together a team of industry professionals to serve as consultants on crypto, blockchain, and digital currencies.

PayPal announced on Tuesday that six new members have been added to its Blockchain, Crypto, and Digital Currencies advisory council, which will benefit the company’s existing and future products, as well as its goal of establishing a more inclusive digital financial ecosystem. The PayPal initiative will include Fortress Investment Group co-CEO Peter Briger, Georgetown University Law Center professor Chris Brummer, Weizmann Institute of Science professor Shafi Goldwasser, former Commodity Futures Trading Commission chair Timothy Massad, MIT Sloan School of Management finance professor Antoinette Schoar, and MIT Digital Currency Initiative director Neha Narula.

“We believe that engaging with the world’s greatest executives is critical to better understanding the industry’s most compelling prospects and challenging issues,” said Jose Fernandez da Ponte, PayPal’s senior vice president and general manager for Blockchain, Crypto, and Digital Currencies.

From a commercial or regulatory standpoint, all six advisers have extensive experience in the crypto and blockchain industry. Prior to the 2017 bull run, Briger is said to have advised Softbank Group founder Masayoshi Son to invest millions in Bitcoin (BTC). Long before cryptography, Goldwasser was part of a group of MIT researchers that presented the zero-knowledge proof as an encryption system.

Narula was in charge of an initiative to help the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston establish a digital currency focused at scaling for consumer use while at the MIT Digital Currency Initiative. Before President Joe Biden formally nominated Rostin Behnam, Brummer was rumoured to be a candidate for CFTC chair. Massad, who was the CFTC chair from 2014 to 2017, suggested after stepping down that regulators should authorise a BTC-focused exchange-traded fund.

It’s unclear if the advisory group’s goal is to help PayPal grow its crypto and blockchain efforts. In October 2020, the payments app announced that consumers in the United States would be able to buy cryptocurrencies using the platform, with the service eventually extending to incorporate crypto payments.