PayPal testing own cryptocurrency to incentivize employees

PayPal is using an internal cryptocurrency to incentivize employees according to news from Cheddar. The platform, which was built in six months by 25 people in PayPal's ($PYPL) San Jose-based innovation lab and launched in mid-November, according to Michael Todasco the director of innovation at the company, is being used to test cryptocurrency by employees who are receiving rewards through this system.

Employees are receiving PayPal tokens on the internal blockchain-based platform by completing different tasks and participating in different company programs as well as contributing ideas. Employees who earn the reward token in the program can access the tokens using an internal website and earn more by participating in the programs and contributions.

The employees cannot use the token outside of the PayPal environment but can trade it within themselves and redeem it for more than 100 “experiences” offered on the platform. The variety of things for which the token can be redeemed include activities such as participating in a poker tournament with some vice presidents, having coffee with CFO John Rainey and martial arts classes with CEO Dan Schulman.

It works more like the Spanish banking group bank BBVA's internal token, which is being used to reward constructive engagement from its 4000 employees. Both may become more examples of how companies can use tokens in a similar way to reward points, but with the benefits of blockchain, whichever they may be.

The bank's employees in Spain and Argentina have access to a “BBVA Campus Wallet” and are earning tokens by learning and training other employees. 57% of BBVA Campus Wallet users have taken at least one class and 20,833 new tokens have been created. The bank's cryptocurrency can be redeemed for a variety of things including for on-site and online training courses and workshops. Employees can also earn tokens if they train another employee.

The group is also developing tokenomics including a decentralized access-to-training model based on these tokens. The project is also expected to move to the Ethereum network.

PayPal has been slow to support crypto on its online payment platform since their supporting Bitcoin about 4 years ago, citing volatility, but has previously, in 2016, filed a patent related to an expedited cryptocurrency transaction system.

It is not clear whether the token will be expanded for external use or launched on the PayPal payment platform. Todasco described the initiative as a “Venmo-like feed people can like and comment on and see all the activity going on within PayPal related to innovation.”

David Kariuki

David Kariuki likes to regard himself as a freelance tech journalist who has written and writes widely about a variety of tech issues that affect our society daily, including cryptocurrencies (see and; climate change (, OpenSim and virtual reality (see He is currently pursuing a MSc in Environmental Management at Open University. He does write here not to offer any investment advise but with the intention of informing audience, and articles in here are of his own opinion. Anyone willing to use any opinion here as advise to invest in crypto should obviously take own responsibility and accountability of their losses (or benefits) thereof. You can reach me at [email protected] or [email protected]

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