Cryptocurrencies are largely considered to be the next step in online finance, helping those without access to traditional financial infrastructure manage their money, send payments, and make investments without relying on banks and centralized payment processors.
It's no wonder then, why some of the world's most successful online payment platforms have begun experimenting with the technology and are now looking for ways to facilitate cryptocurrency transactions directly or allow retail investors to get involved in the blossoming new crypto economy.
Google Joins the Mix
American multinational technology company Google is one of the larger firms to display an interest in blockchain and cryptocurrency. The technology giant recently opened the keys to the crypto kingdom by working together with Coinbase to bring cryptocurrency-powered payments to the masses through its mobile payment app-Google Pay.
As of March 2020, Google Pay users can now add their Coinbase Card, a visa debit card that allows users to spend cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) and others directly from their Coinbase account balance. Though there are numerous similar offerings to the Coinbase Card, none have yet managed to pass the strict Google Pay approval process.
Beyond this, Google Pay is increasingly cropping up as a payment method at many blockchain and cryptocurrency service providers. Earlier this month, blockchain trading education and market analytics platform NewsCrypto joined the growing number of crypto platforms to support Google Pay payments. Now, customers are able to use Google Pay to purchase NewsCrypto Coin (NWC) tokens, which can be staked or used to unlock additional tracking tools. This makes NewsCrypto one of the first platforms to offer direct cryptocurrency purchases with Google Pay.
These tentative first steps indicate Google may be changing its tune on cryptocurrencies. Back in 2018, the online search giant blocked advertisements for cryptocurrency exchanges, wallets, and certain other crypto-related advertising-and described cryptocurrencies as "speculative financial products". However, Google partially backpedaled on the ban just months later and is now letting an increasing number of crypto firms advertise on the search engine.
PayPal and Amazon Are Also Making Moves
Though Google has recently begun making waves in the cryptocurrency payment space, it wasn't the first to move.
PayPal, a popular online payment platform, has been ramping up its presence in the cryptocurrency space for some time now, and can already be used to pay for cryptocurrencies on a variety of platforms, including Coinbase, Local Bitcoins, and Paxful-and can also be used as a deposit method for several cryptocurrency CFD trading platforms, like eToro.
Until this year, PayPal's involvement in the cryptocurrency industry has been restricted to third-party integrations, which allow a variety of blockchain and crypto companies to accept PayPal for their goods and services. But recently, recent leaks indicate that PayPal is looking to launch its own cryptocurrency trading service, through a partnership with Paxos, a platform that offers plug and play cryptocurrency brokerage services.
Although the details are still scant at the moment, a recent letter the company sent to the European Commission suggests PayPal is looking to ramp up its presence in the crypto-asset industry and assist with laying down the appropriate regulatory framework to help "achieve greater financial inclusion and help reduce/eliminate some of the pain points that exist today in financial services."
Likewise, one of the biggest competitors to Google Pay and PayPal has also shown strong interest in launching a product in the cryptocurrency. This is, of course, none other than Amazon, the e-commerce titan, and firm behind the massively popular Amazon Pay payment processing service.
Amazon already has its own fully-managed blockchain service known as Amazon Quantum Ledger Database (QLDB) and recently patented a new type of cryptographic system based on the Proof of Work (PoW) consensus algorithm and Merkle trees.
This, in combination with the fact that the firm now controls several cryptocurrency-related domains, including amazonbitcoin.com and amazoncryptocurrency.com, it appears to be just a matter of time before Amazon makes a break in the cryptocurrency space in a big way-perhaps by launching its own cryptocurrency or accepting direct crypto payments for its products and services.