No matter the current market sentiment, digital currencies have undoubtedly made more headlines in the last years than ever before. However, the notion of global digital currencies far predate the last few years.
PayPal wanted to create a global currency “long ago”
According to recent comments from PayPal’s co-founder, Luke Nosek, the payment company was reportedly initially looking to create its own digital currency long ago.
Moreover, this currency was intended to be entirely separate from both governments and banks – which in many ways seems reminiscent of cryptocurrency. Specifically, these comments came during the past weeks World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Nosek attended a panel at the conference and was asked whether he believed that PayPal our WeChat Pay – a similar in-app payment system employed by the Chinese messaging service – had solved various problems related to online transactions – or whether cryptocurrencies are needed to solve these problems.
In response to this question, Nosek shed some light on the initial goal of PayPal. ”Many people don’t know this, but the initial mission of PayPal was to create a global currency that was independent of interference by these, you know, corrupt cartels of banks and governments that were debasing their currencies.”
Although Nosek highlighted that PayPal was indeed successful in building an influential digital tool for economic transactions, he ceded that the company never achieved its initial goal.
Investor pressure came in the way of a currency free from banks, governments
In fact, Nosek admitted that PayPal became overly centralized, and had also grown too intrinsically connected to big financial institutions, such as Mastercard, Visa, and the SWIFT payment processing system.
Nosek noted that ”we [PayPal] have learned to play” in relation to this dependence on big financial institutions, hinting at how PayPal needs to conform to the banks’ preferences.
Moreover, Nosek also said that he regrets that he and Elon Musk, another of PayPal’s co-founders, did not have the time needed to develop something akin to a decentralized cryptocurrency.
The reason they did not was primarily due to investor pressure for launching PayPal’s financial products as soon as possible, according to Nosek.
Nevertheless, Nosek said that he was thankful to Bitcoin and Ethereum developers for creating ecosystems of their own. In addition to this, he also praised how such developers have refrained from pushing adoption before the technology is ready.
Finally, Nosek also said that he hopes no Bitcoin or Ethereum developers will ever have to face the same pressure to release financial products hastily in the manner that PayPal did.
Image Source: “Flickr”
Rasmus Pihl is a writer for Toshi Times by day and an avid follower of the blockchain industry by night. Rasmus holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from the Gothenburg School of Business, Economics, and Law and runs a Swedish marketing consulting firm. Moreover, when he isn’t writing for Toshi Times, traveling, working or changing the world in some other capacity, Rasmus is more than likely caught up in postgraduate studies.