Blockchain News

PayPal’s Ethereum-Based Stablecoin Garners Mixed Reactions in Crypto Community

PayPal’s recent launch of the Ethereum-based stablecoin PYUSD has stirred excitement and concern within the crypto community, as it presents opportunities for mainstream adoption while raising questions about decentralization and personal asset control.

The PYUSD stablecoin, issued by Paxos Trust Co., the same company behind Binance USD (BUSD), debuted on August 7, designed to facilitate digital payments and cater to the emerging Web3 ecosystem. With plans to be accessible to customers in the United States soon, it has been hailed as a positive step for Ethereum adoption. Prominent Ethereum enthusiasts Anthony Sassano and Ryan Sean Adams see the ERC-20 stablecoin as a catalyst that could propel the blockchain closer to becoming the financial backbone of the internet.

Presently, Ethereum boasts a daily active user count ranging between 300,000 to 400,000, as reported by Etherscan. However, PayPal’s extensive user base of 430 million accounts implies that approximately 5% of the world’s population, around 8 billion people, could be introduced to Ethereum through the PYUSD stablecoin.

While some industry experts, including lawmakers like Patrick McHenry, Chair of the United States House Committee on Financial Services, view the entry of stablecoins like PYUSD as a promising development for modernizing the payment system, only some are convinced of its benefits.

Several competent contract auditors have raised alarms about PYUSD’s smart contract, citing the presence of a ‘freeze funds’ and ‘wipefrozenfunds’ function, which they consider a vulnerability, potentially enabling centralized control in Solidity contracts. Chris Blec, a cryptocurrency researcher, shares these concerns and believes that PayPal may leverage these functions if necessary.

Furthermore, digital asset lawyer Sarah Hodder draws parallels between PayPal’s stablecoin and a censorship-enabled central bank digital currency, raising questions about its resemblance to a decentralized cryptocurrency. Another intelligent contract auditor notes that the smart contract governing PYUSD can be altered by PayPal at any time, raising concerns about the token’s stability and independence.

Blockchain engineer Patrick Collins offers a more balanced perspective, acknowledging that PayPal’s PYUSD has the potential to be a game-changer, but also highlights some questionable engineering choices, such as opting for an outdated version of Solidity and making the contract upgradeable, which may impact its efficiency.

In light of these debates, Anthony Sassano underscores that despite the centralization aspects of PayPal’s stablecoin, Ethereum users can decide whether to utilize it, thereby retaining individual control over their assets.

As PayPal plans to roll out PYUSD in the coming weeks, the crypto community awaits the implications of this significant development. Ethereum’s current price of $1,825 has seen only minor fluctuations since PayPal’s announcement, reflecting the market’s cautious anticipation of the stablecoin’s impact. As the crypto space continues to evolve, the true impact of PYUSD on Ethereum’s adoption and the broader digital payments landscape remains to be seen.


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