PayPal is exploring the launch of a stablecoin, The Block has learned.
Four sources with knowledge of the situation told The Block that PayPal has made the rounds among some of the industry’s stablecoin protocol developers — suggesting the payments giant may be leaning towards working with a third-party company.
Ava Labs, the team behind the Avalanche blockchain, is one of the organizations that has held talks with PayPal over stablecoin development, according to people familiar with the matter. It is not clear which other protocols have been involved in the discussions.
A PayPal spokesperson told The Block that “PayPal continues to explore the potential of digital currencies, digital financial services infrastructure and how we can help enhance digital commerce as a trusted partner in the space.”
“As a global company working with regulators and industry partners throughout the world to shape the next generation of financial systems, the company is in frequent conversation about technologies that enable these goals. However, rumors and speculation are not predictive of the company’s future plans,” the spokesperson said.
If PayPal did move forward with such a project, it would represent a significant escalation of its work in the crypto space. Stablecoins are digital assets that represent fiat or government-backed currencies, using a blockchain network as a payment rail. There is more than $80 billion in stablecoins circulating in the market today, according to data collected by The Block.
“It looks like they’re more likely to do something with an existing stablecoin partner rather than build something themselves, because I think that that would get something to market faster, and I think that’s their primary concern,” one source told The Block.
See more: PayPal to acquire Curv
Rumors have long circulated regarding PayPal’s stablecoin ambitions. Indeed, one source described the move as the best-known secret in the crypto industry.
Last fall, PayPal announced that it would enable crypto buys and sells on its platform through a partnership with industry startup Paxos. PayPal has moved to widen the scope of its crypto offerings since then.
On March 8, PayPal announced that it had completed the acquisition of crypto security firm and multi-party computation (MPC) start-up Curv.