“Regulatory stack as a service” is boring as hell until PayPal comes along.
That’s when the radical potential of being the cryptocurrency back-end for the biggest names in tech starts to appear a smidge more sexy.
This article is part of CoinDesk’s Most Influential 2020 – a list of impactful people in crypto chosen by readers and staff. The NFT of the art, by Olive Allen, is available for auction at The Nifty Gateway, with 50% of the sale going to charity.
Such was the case this year with Paxos – the firm founded in 2012 by Bitcoin OG Charles Cascarilla – when PayPal confirmed in October what CoinDesk first reported in June: That the fintech giant’s 350 million users would soon have easy access to the crypto markets.
The news pumped a bit of euphoria into what had been a quiet climb up the bitcoin price chart since the distant, $3,800 lows of March 2020. Suddenly bitcoin was trending, PayPal headlines were everywhere, the price was again flirting with $20,000.
And behind it all, quietly lurking in the well-regulated alphabet soup of the U.S. financial system, was Paxos and its months-old crypto brokerage service. The firm had snagged a huge fish, beating out rumored competitors like Coinbase and Bitstamp.
“They were gonna get involved even if Paxos didn’t exist,” Cascarilla said of PayPal in an interview earlier this month. “We’re not gonna overindulge here about what our role is. We presented a unique product…