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Paypal and Cryptocurrency: Fake Warning Emails and New Patents

  • 3 April 2018
  • Cas Proffitt

PayPal email warning against cryptocurrency deemed fake while the real company files a patent for speedier cryptocurrency transaction system.

PayPal is a widely-used payment platform that earned its name on the internet scene in the early 2000’s thanks to eBay. Now, PayPal is used for far more than online auctions, but is the payment processor of choice for many businesses both online and off due to their convenient checkout processes and minimal fees. Even major retailers such as Office Depot accept PayPal payments online and in-store.  

In the past, PayPal executives have given promising views of cryptocurrency, or at least its underlying technology. CFO John Rainey expressed in an interview with The Wall Street Journal his opinion that, perhaps in several years cryptocurrency will have the stability to be used regularly for everyday payments; co-founder Max Levchin stated his view that blockchain was revolutionary, although he was not yet certain about bitcoin.

Cryptocurrency Warning Email

Knowing this, users were surprised to find an email urging them to cease all trading and transfer of cryptocurrency in conjunction with the service, stating that such things went against PayPal’s Acceptable Use Policy. Many long-term users of the service who had made their way to cryptocurrency were in a frenzy.

The email is verifiably fake, but not only do users not yet know where the list of emails originated—some theorize from PayPal itself—but the domain used to send the fake email is registered to IBM. Some cryptocurrency enthusiasts suspect this is an attempt at market manipulation because no request for information, e.g. phishing, was contained within the email. PayPal has not yet released a statement regarding the email.

PayPal’s Cryptocurrency Patent

While questions surrounding the scam email are still afoot, Paypal has filed for yet another cryptocurrency-related patent, this time with a focus on transaction speed. In the patent application, PayPal outlines a system which uses secondary wallets to lower transaction times, potentially making cryptocurrency payment just as viable and convenient as fiat in terms of user experience.

This patent application was met with differing opinions, some leaning toward excitement, others toward raised eyebrows. Dan Schulman, PayPal’s CEO, has dampened hype in both directions by explaining that PayPal’s cryptocurrency solution plans are not of high priority and are not likely to be found on the platform anytime soon, noting that cryptocurrency has a long way to grow from its current “experimental” phase.

Did you receive the fake cryptocurrency warning email? Do you expect PayPal to implement cryptocurrency solutions on their platform within the next few years? Let us know in the comments below!

About Cas Proffitt

Cas is a B2B Content Marketer and Brand Consultant who specializes in disruptive technology. She covers topics like artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual reality, blockchain, and big data, to name a few. Cas is also co-owner of an esports organization and spends much of her time teaching gamers how to make a living doing what they love while bringing positivity to the gaming community.