PayPal CEO Shades Bitcoin: ‘We’re Not Seeing Many Retailers Accept Cryptocurrencies’
PayPal CEO Dan Schulman expressed skepticism about mass merchant adoption of bitcoin, noting that there are very few retailers that currently accept crypto.
Schulman made the remarks Wednesday (Jan. 23) at the 2019 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
“We’re not seeing many retailers at all accept any of the cryptocurrencies,” Schulman told CNBC (video below). “But I think the underlying technology is interesting.”
Schulman: Crypto Is Not Really a Currency
Schulman is leery of hopping on the bitcoin bandwagon because he believes crypto’s main role is to showcase blockchain technology.
I have always thought that crypto was more of a reward mechanism for implementing blockchain, as opposed to really a currency.
. @PayPal CEO Dan Schulman on Bitcoin: "We're not seeing many retailers at all accept any of the cryptocurrencies." pic.twitter.com/2Ypcp20lHj
— Squawk Box (@SquawkCNBC) January 23, 2019
PayPal CEO: Bitcoin Price Volatility Is Deterrent
Basically, Dan Schulman is doubling-down on the crypto FUD he professed last year. At the time, Schulman said consumers shouldn’t expect to see a crypto exchange on PayPal’s mobile payment service, Venmo, anytime soon.
Schulman cited bitcoin’s wild price swings as a key reason for his reluctance to embrace cryptocurrencies.
“The volatility of [bitcoin] makes it actually unsuitable to be a real currency that retailers can accept,” Schulman told TheStreet in January 2018.
Retailers have very narrow margins. And when you have a bitcoin bouncing up and down by 15% over a couple weeks period, that can be the difference between profits and losing money on every sale.
Chris Brendler, the director of equity research at Buckingham Research Group, agrees with Schulman. He says cryptocurrencies are not optimal for either merchants or consumers.
“It’s just not an efficient way to transfer value,” Brendler said. “It’s not a consumer-friendly process, and it’s not a merchant-friendly process.”
Ex-PayPal CEO Bill Harris Rips the ‘Cult of Bitcoin’
The current PayPal CEO’s anti-crypto stance mirrors that of its former CEO, Bill Harris. In August 2018, Harris trashed bitcoin as worthless, and mocked its proponents as cult-like zombies.
“The cult of bitcoin make many claims: that it’s instant, free, scalable, efficient, secure, globally accepted and useful,” Harris told CNBC (video below). “It is none of those things.”
Harris also predicted that the bitcoin price will soon crater to zero.
#Bitcoin bulls beware. Former PayPal CEO Bill Harris calls the #crypto a cult and says it is headed straight to zero. pic.twitter.com/SQgf6pIEVk
— CNBC's Fast Money (@CNBCFastMoney) August 14, 2018
Meanwhile, PayPal co-founder, billionaire Peter Thiel, is a bitcoin bull.
Thiel — whose net worth tops $2.5 billion — has touted bitcoin as “digital gold.” “It’s sort of hedge of sorts against the whole world falling apart,” Thiel declared in March 2018.
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