MetaMask, the popular Web3 wallet from ConsenSys, has begun rolling out support for PayPal Ethereum purchases and transfers.
Over the next few weeks, select users of the MetaMask mobile app in the continental United States will be able to fund their wallets using PayPal. Once logged into their MetaMask account, users will be able to seamlessly buy crypto, being redirected to PayPal to complete transactions.
While MetaMask’s integration of PayPal will undoubtedly make it easier for more people to experience the Web3 world, the move of traditional centralised payment companies into the space will not be welcomed by everyone.
Is PayPal really welcome in the crypto space?
In October, PayPal became the poster child for centralised censorship and corporate overreach, when it was revealed to be introducing a draconian ‘misinformation’ policy. The highly questionable new agreement would have seen users hit with punitive fines for daring to voice views that opposed the mainstream ‘truth’ – a truth dictated by PayPal itself, of course.
The incident, which was at once sinister and farcical, caused an immediate public backlash with many users closing their accounts in protest, and sent the company’s share price sliding. Despite cynical backtracking and denials, it’s clear PayPal has now got a big trust issue. In fact, after claiming the new terms were not being implemented, within a few weeks the company snuck them back into a terms and conditions update, with slightly different wording.
Indeed, earlier this month, two of PayPal’s original founders, Elon Musk and Peter Thiel slammed what PayPal had become, denouncing it as ‘totalitarian’ and comparing it to an episode of British dystopian TV series Black Mirror. David Sacks, who was PayPal’s first chief operating officer, also criticised the firm, saying it was trying to silence opposing views in order to profit from increasingly the pervasive woke culture.
So, is MetaMask’s association with PayPal really a good thing for the future of Web3 and crypto? Is it yet another sign that some elements of the space are becoming centralised and censorship prone?