Payments giant Paypal held over half a billion dollars worth of the two largest cryptocurrencies as of December 31, 2021, according to its year-end report to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
That included $291 million in Bitcoin (BTC), and another $250 million in Ethereum (ETH).
Another $63 million in assets were held in both Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Litecoin (LTC), bringing PayPal’s total crypto held on behalf of its customers to $604 million.
The figure is lower than the previous quarter’s, which logged $694 million in crypto as of September 31, back when Bitcoin traded at $19,400. That was also before the collapse of crypto exchange giant FTX, whose resulting contagion battered the lead crypto’s price down to $16,600 by the end of the year.
“We allow our customers in certain markets to buy, hold, sell, receive, and send certain cryptocurrencies as well as use the proceeds from sales of cryptocurrencies to pay for purchases at checkout,” explained PayPal in the filing.
PayPal's crypto moves
After announcing the feature in November 2020, the company began allowing users to withdraw their crypto to external wallets last June–just as a host of centralized exchanges and lending firms began to freeze user assets.
After confirming that he owned Bitcoin in 2019, PayPal CEO Dan Schulman also said that he was "very bullish on digital currencies of all kinds" in 2020.
"I think that if you can create a financial system, a new and modern technology that is faster, that is less expensive, more efficient, that's good for bringing more people into the system, for inclusion, to help drive down costs, to help drive financial health for so many people," Schulman said during a Web Summit at that time.