Bitcoin prices surged over 8 percent to break the psychological $13,000 mark for the first time in 2020 a day after PayPal Holdings Inc said it will allow customers to buy, sell and hold cryptocurrencies.
The world's largest digital currency was quoting $12,782.96, up 4.26 percent at the time of writing this copy. It touched an intraday high of $13,229.37 and an intraday low of $12,142.98.
On a year-to-date basis, Bitcoin prices are up over 77 percent.
PayPal customers will also be able to use cryptocurrencies to shop at the 26 million merchants on its network starting in early 2021, the company said in a statement.
PayPal hopes the service will encourage global use of virtual coins and prepare its network for new digital currencies that may be developed by central banks and corporations, President and Chief Executive Dan Schulman said in an interview.
"We are working with central banks and thinking of all forms of digital currencies and how PayPal can play a role," he said.
US account holders will be able to buy, sell and hold cryptocurrencies in their PayPal wallets over the coming weeks, the company said. It plans to expand to Venmo and some countries in the first half of 2021.Cryptocurrency payments on PayPal will be settled using fiat currencies, such as the US dollar, meaning merchants will not receive payments in virtual coins, the company said.