PayPal on Monday launched a new digital currency, PayPal USD, a stablecoin backed by US dollars, intended to facilitate payments on its global online payments platform. This comes as the cryptocurrency industry suffers hard times following the collapse of FTX and various legal cases.
Stablecoins are a theoretically more reliable alternative to the famously volatile cryptocurrencies, as they are pegged to the US dollar or other fiat currencies. PayPal USD is designed to make payments easier and open the door to more big brands getting involved with digital assets. It will soon be available at its peer-to-peer payment service, Venmo.
The decision to accept bitcoin by PayPal in late 2020 helped to trigger a steep rise in the value of crypto assets, as it was seen as a potential currency of the future. However, the cryptocurrency market has been rocked by scandals, and financial regulators in the US have argued that cryptocurrencies are securities and should face strict rules.
Two weeks after PayPal USD’s launch, the OpenAI chief executive Sam Altman and other co-founders unveiled a new Worldcoin crypto project that relies on an eye scan to verify a user’s identity. Worldcoin would provide users with a private digital identity—a “World ID”—after they register in person using an “Orb” imaging device that scans their iris pattern.
The company also launched its Worldcoin token, a cryptocurrency now tradable in certain locations and platforms, to millions of users who participated in early tests. However, due to US restrictions, Worldcoin is not available to trade in the US, where enthusiasm for the sector is significant.