Mad Money

PayPal CFO: Our merchants aren't interested in crypto—it's too volatile

Key Points
  • "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer gets PayPal CFO John Rainey's take on the cryptocurrency craze.
  • Rainey addresses whether his payment platform would ever take on the trend.
Our merchants not interested in crypto—it's too volatile: PayPal CFO

When PayPal became one of the first companies to let merchants accept cryptocurrencies, one major issue emerged, PayPal CFO John Rainey told CNBC on Wednesday.

"Because of the volatility of the cryptocurrencies," the merchants were seeing swings in crypto that threatened the viability of their businesses, Rainey told "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer.

"If you're a merchant and you have, let's say, a 10 percent margin on a product that you sell and you accept bitcoin, for example, and the very next day it moves 15 percent, you're now underwater on that transaction," Rainey said in the exclusive interview.

"So what happens, or what was happening, is they were immediately moving that to a more stable currency," the CFO continued.

The start of 2018 has been difficult for bitcoin and ethereum, two leading digital currencies. Both had their worst first-quarter price performances in history, with bitcoin losing over $119 billion in value in three months.

Recently, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and other foreign entities have been pushing to regulate digital currencies, putting pressure on prices.

In the case of PayPal, some have also raised questions about Square's competing service, Square Cash, in light of its ability to process bitcoin transactions.

But while some market-watchers still ardently back crypto, Rainey told Cramer that PayPal will proceed with a bit more caution.

"You could have something that appeals to consumers, but if merchants don't accept it, it's of little value," Rainey said. "Right now, we don't see a lot of interest from our merchants. But if it's something that stabilizes in the future and is a better currency, then we'll certainly support that."

Watch John Rainey's full interview here:

PayPal CFO sees opportunity in consumers who have mobile devices, but not bank accounts

Disclosure: Cramer's charitable trust owns shares of PayPal.

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