PYMNTS MonitorEdge May 2024

PayPal Adds Stablecoin to Solana Blockchain

PayPal USD, stablecoins

PayPal says its stablecoin — PayPal USD (PYUSD) — is now available on the Solana blockchain.

The move is designed to make the stablecoin faster and cheaper to use, giving users the choice of multiple blockchains for more flexibility and control, according to a Wednesday (May 29) news release.

“The Solana blockchain is known for processing massive amounts of transactions at high speeds with extremely low costs, providing significant benefits for commerce use cases,” PayPal said in the release.

It’s also the most used blockchain for stablecoin transfers, according to data from blockchain analytics platform Artemis, making it ideal for PYUSD’s use in payments, per the release.

“PayPal USD was created with the intent to revolutionize commerce again by providing a fast, easy, and inexpensive payment method for the next evolution of the digital economy,” PayPal Senior Vice President of Blockchain, Cryptocurrency and Digital Currency Jose Fernandez da Ponte said in the announcement. “Making PYUSD available on the Solana blockchain furthers our goal of enabling a digital currency with a stable value designed for commerce and payments.”

PayPal introduced PYUSD last August  and began offering it to users of its Venmo payments platform weeks later. And last month, the company teamed with cross-border money transfer service Xoom partnered to let users make international transactions using PYUSD.

Meanwhile, PYMNTS spoke recently with Sheraz Shere, head of payments at Solana Foundation, about the company’s push to make crypto payments more mainstream.

“It’s important to know that crypto is not just bitcoin and Doge and NFTs,” Shere said “Blockchains are really alternative rails for payments and financial assets.”

Still, he added, there is an ongoing obstacle to accelerating cryptocurrency adoption — a lack of awareness especially among the upper reaches of financial services.

“If you think about the mainstream, we are very early, even on the awareness side of things,” Shere said.

That’s because although crypto advocates have deep insights into the technology, executives still need more education for them to truly embrace exploring the practical applications and potential of cryptocurrency within payments.

“As an example, people are super excited about all these new [real-time payments] systems,” Shere said. “Imagine a global [real-time payments] system that just runs with no central authority. Well, we have that with stablecoins running on a network like Solana — fully permissionless, decentralized instant settlement.”

“Don’t get distracted by the noise,” he added. “There is a lot of noise, but there are some interesting underlying technologies that are important for financial services leaders to understand.”