The deal marks PayPal’s next step in embracing cryptocurrency as it builds out a new business unit for blockchain and crypto.
In its next move into the crypto space, payments giant PayPal is acquiring cryptocurrency security company Curv.
Curv – not to be confused with British fintech company Curve – is based in Israel and develops infrastructure for financial services businesses to secure their digital assets and cryptocurrencies.
Late last year, PayPal, one of the early innovators in online payments, ventured into the cryptocurrency arena by supporting bitcoin buying in the US. It is expected to launch these services in the UK later this year.
PayPal’s embracing of cryptocurrency marked an important step in mainstream acceptance of the likes of bitcoin. Over the last several months, bitcoin’s value has reached staggering heights and is currently trading at around $50,000.
Now with major firms like Tesla and other institutional investors pumping money into bitcoin, cryptocurrencies are no longer fringe propositions. This is further reflected in Coinbase, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, preparing its stock market float with a valuation tipped at $100bn.
Curv was founded in 2018 and has raised more than $29.5m from investors including the venture wing of Germany’s Commerzbank and Coinbase’s investment arm.
The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2021, with Curv’s team merging with PayPal’s newly created blockchain, crypto and digital currencies business unit.
No financial terms for the deal were disclosed. CNBC reports that the deal is worth less than $200m and Israeli news outlet Calcalist previously reported that Curv was in acquisition talks at a price tag between $200m and $300m.
Jose Fernandez da Ponte, vice-president and general manager of PayPal’s crypto efforts, said the deal was part of the company’s effort to invest in talent and tech in this space.
“During our conversations with Curv’s team, we’ve been impressed by their technical talent, entrepreneurial spirit, and the thinking behind the technology they’ve built in the last few years,” he said.
Curv chief executive and co-founder Itay Malinger said the acquisition recognises Curv as a leader in security infrastructure for digital assets.
“Now, as the adoption of digital assets accelerates, we feel there’s no better home than PayPal to continue our journey of innovation,” Malinger added.
PayPal has also invested in and partnered with Paxos, a regulated cryptocurrency trading and settling platform, which is helping power PayPal’s efforts in this space.