International payments giant, PayPal, saw record daily cryptocurrency trading, as volumes rose to $242.5 million on January 11.
The figure almost doubles the previous record of $128.9 million, set only one week earlier, according to cryptocurrency analyst, Nomics.
The surge in activity continues a new-year trend, with PayPal’s cryptocurrency trading volume increasing over 950% since the start of the year.
Most of this activity is driven by increasing interest in cryptocurrencies from retail investors, according to Alex Saunders of Nugget’s News.
The interest comes as bitcoin soars to a new all-time high fuelled, in part, by large institutions like MicroStrategy taking big positions.
PayPal’s History With Cryptocurrency
Last year, PayPal made several moves in the cryptocurrency space. In the summer, the company posted several job listings that mentioned cryptocurrency or blockchain, including a ‘blockchain engineer’ that would work with its research team.
The company announced that its users would be able to buy and sell cryptocurrency on its platform. The bitcoin price rose sharply on the news, breaking above a key level at $12,000.
The cryptocurrency community also welcomed the news. Many suggested the entry of the payment giant would increase access to the market and legitimize the industry.
Others said the move was long-overdue, pointing out the often harsh restrictions and sanctions PayPal has placed on cryptocurrency traders.
Other payments companies such as Square Cash and Revolut had already served cryptocurrency buyers and sellers. Some suggested PayPal’s move was an effort to catch up to this competition.
A Bullish Signal?
There is little doubt that the recent cryptocurrency trading activity is a signal of something. The payments giant has 305 million active users, in 202 markets around the world, according to business data firm Statista.
The company added 70 million users in 2020 alone, representing year-on-year growth of just over 22%. PayPal’s platform is specifically developed for ease-of-use. In a notoriously technical cryptocurrency space, this should increase access to the wider market.
As retail investors begin to jump on the bullish bandwagon, PayPal will likely continue to be the entry point for many. More records will be broken, and bitcoin, and possibly PayPal, could be the primary benefactor.
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