PayPal to allow use of bitcoin, other cybercurrencies for shopping on its network

The San Jose-based company hopes the service will encourage global use of virtual coins and prepare its network for new digital currencies that central banks and companies may develop, 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.

U.S. account holders will be able to buy, sell and hold cryptocurrencies in their PayPal wallets over the coming weeks, the company said. PayPal plans to expand the service to its peer-to-peer payment app Venmo and some other countries in the first half of 2021.

The ability to make payments with cryptocurrencies will be available from early next year, the company said.

U.S.: Chinese company uses forced labor

The United States said it found “conclusive evidence” that a Chinese company used forced labor to make extracts of the sweetener stevia, with American ports now directed to seize any shipments.

Customs and Border Protection has “conclusive evidence” that Inner Mongolia Hengzheng Group Baoanzhao Agriculture, Industry and Trade used convict, forced or indentured labor to make the products and that they are being or are likely to be imported to the United States, the agency said in a statement Tuesday.

Previously, in 2016, the agency temporarily detained these shipments based on “reasonable but inconclusive proof” of forced labor.

The move is the latest in a string in which the United States is raising pressure on China over some companies’ alleged ill treatment of workers. In September, CBP said it planned a so-called withhold release order, or WRO, covering all cotton, textile and tomato products from the country’s northwestern Xinjiang region, where predominantly Muslim minority groups are allegedly being repressed. China’s Foreign Ministry has denied the allegations.

In a statement to Bloomberg News on Wednesday, the Foreign Ministry spokesperson’s office said it wasn’t aware of the situation and accused the United States of previously “cooking up so-called forced labor issues against the facts.”

A Boeing plant in Arizona that builds Apache attack helicopters is under scrutiny by more than two dozen Army personnel after the company reported quality problems it says were caused by a negligent technician. The Army is evaluating whether the quality concerns involving testing and installation of potentially unsafe parts — which temporarily grounded 11 attack helicopters and prompted a delivery halt — were limited to the actions of the now-fired technician or are more systemic at the Mesa, Ariz., plant.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has declined to approve Zosano Pharma’s experimental treatment to relieve pain after the onset of migraine headaches, citing issues with its delivery during clinical trials, the company said on Wednesday. Zosano’s Qtrypta, a treatment containing microneedles that deliver a drug called zolmitriptan directly into the bloodstream through skin, was expected to compete with oral and injectable treatments for migraine headaches.

J.C. Penney believes it will emerge from bankruptcy protection before Christmas under a new ownership agreement that would save tens of thousands of

PayPal to allow cryptocurrency buying, selling and shopping on its network

By Anna Irrera



a close up of a sign: The German headquarters of PayPal is pictured at Europarc Dreilinden business park south of Berlin in Kleinmachnow


© Reuters/FABRIZIO BENSCH
The German headquarters of PayPal is pictured at Europarc Dreilinden business park south of Berlin in Kleinmachnow

LONDON (Reuters) – PayPal Holdings Inc joined the cryptocurrency market on Wednesday, allowing customers to buy, sell and hold bitcoin and other virtual coins using the U.S. digital payments company’s online wallets.

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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.

U.S. 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.

Other mainstream fintech companies, such as mobile payments provider Square Inc and stock trading app firm Robinhood Markets Inc, allow users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies, but PayPal’s launch is noteworthy given its vast reach.

The company, based in San Jose, California, has 346 million active accounts around the world and processed $222 billion in payments in the second quarter.

Cryptocurrencies tend to be volatile, making them attractive to speculators, but a lot less appealing to merchants and shoppers. Transactions have been slower and more costly than other mainstream payment systems.

Cryptocurrency payments on PayPal will be settled using fiat currencies, such as the U.S. dollar, meaning merchants will not receive payments in virtual coins, the company said.

Many central banks around the world have expressed their intention to develop digital versions of their currencies in the coming years, while Facebook Inc-led the creation of a cryptocurrency project called Libra in 2019. PayPal was a founding member but dropped out after a few months.

PayPal, which has secured the first conditional cryptocurrency license from the New York State Department of Financial Services, will initially allow purchases of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies called ethereum, bitcoin cash and litecoin, it said. It partners with Paxos Trust Company to offer the service.

(Reporting by Anna Irrera; Editing by Richard Chang)

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Cheddar insiders describe its growing pains since being acquired by Altice for $200 million and the future of its ‘post-cable’ network model



Jon Steinberg et al. sitting at a table: Billy Horschel speaks with Cheddar hosts Kristen Scholer and Jon Steinberg at the New York Stock Exchange. Ryan Young/PGA TOUR


© Ryan Young/PGA TOUR
Billy Horschel speaks with Cheddar hosts Kristen Scholer and Jon Steinberg at the New York Stock Exchange. Ryan Young/PGA TOUR

  • Millennial-news network Cheddar was a bright spot in media last year when it was acquired by cable company Altice USA for $200 million. 
  • The company has since had layoffs amid the pandemic and consolidated its two channels.
  • Business Insider spoke with Cheddar’s founder, former employees, and analysts about the future of the “post-cable-network” model the company was built on.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

In April, Dexter Goei, the CEO of Altice USA, and Jon Steinberg, the founder of Cheddar, virtually addressed a crowd of curious and apprehensive Cheddar employees.

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This was a rare joint appearance by the millennial-news network’s two leaders since Altice acquired Cheddar for $200 million in 2019. With layoffs sweeping across the media sphere and everyone working remotely because of the pandemic, staffers scrambled to log in to Microsoft Teams for the Altice-hosted videoconference. (The Cheddar team still used Slack, a holdover from its independent days.)

Steinberg, whom insiders have described as charismatic, relatable, and always looking to the next big thing, focused on the positives.

“They went through slides showing how great viewership was doing across the platform because of COVID,” one former employee Business Insider spoke with. “There was no language in that to indicate that there would be mass layoffs.”

The calls came an hour or two later. Staffers across the newsroom were laid off and furloughed, including Cheddar’s entire Los Angeles bureau and producers and anchors who worked on long-running shows like “Opening Bell” and “Closing Bell.” The cuts were across Altice.

Three sources estimated that Cheddar’s staff was slashed by 30% or more, which would be a substantial share of the once growing operation. Altice said Cheddar now had 160 newsroom employees but declined to confirm the scope of the layoffs.

Multiple Cheddar insiders said they were stunned by the layoffs, with one describing them as a “horrible shock” and another saying they “came out of nowhere.” Layoffs are common after mergers as companies eliminate staffers doing the same jobs — but these, more influenced by the pandemic, caught staffers off guard.

The meeting drew a sharp line from the old Cheddar, the startup where Steinberg, who calls Cheddar his “baby,” shared key financials and ad-sales figures in weekly town halls, the former staffers said.

Cheddar isn’t a startup anymore. It’s part of Altice, which has become the US’s fourth-largest cable operator since being spun out of a European telecom giant.

“It makes me feel terrible that people were caught blindsided,” Steinberg told Business Insider of the layoffs. “I had hoped I never would do a layoff, but I think we handled it with decency.”

The Altice acquisition was a successful exit at a time when other new-media outfits like Vice were struggling, and a lifeline for Cheddar after spending much of its four-year history chasing monetization — first on platforms like Facebook,