When it comes to trusted and popular online payment methods, it is pretty much impossible to argue with the fact that PayPal stands at the top of that list.
A global phenomenon by this point, huge amounts of money changes hands around the world through PayPal on a daily basis.
For online casino players, there are few payment methods that come close to PayPal, even with the addition of eWallets and cryptocurrencies in recent years, PayPal still maintains a strong presence as a payment method at online betting sites.
How it Works
For the uninitiated, PayPal allows you to send money simply and easily to most countries in the world as long as you have the email address of the person you are sending to, and they have a PayPal account.
To start sending and receiving money, all you need to do is set up an account at PayPal and connect a credit or debit card to your account.
From that point, you can deposit, send, receive, and withdraw money easily with the added comfort of your money being safe and secure at all times.
The History of Paypal
The story of Paypal is an interesting one, and it starts way back in 1998 when Ken Howrey, Luke Nosek, Max Levchin, and Peter Thiel started Confinity, a word that combined confidence and infinity to create a catchy name, although it’s fair to say that the later change to PayPal was the right choice.
Thiel and Levchin met at a lecture that the first was giving, and they immediately hit it off, and decided to go into business together.
The first idea for the two was to create a library to encrypt schemes, but they soon discovered there was little demand for security.
At this point, Thiel suggested the basis of PayPal, and Levchin set out to create an IOU that was cryptographically secure, and Confinity was born.
Once the realisation was made that the service could move beyond palm top computers, the company was renamed PayPal, and at this point, a veritable war started.
While PayPal was starting to take off, so too was X.com, a company led by Elon Musk.
While other services such as Dotbank and PayMe were also in existence at the time and fighting for the same web traffic, it was PayPal and X.com that led the charge.
The battle between the two was intense, with PayPal offering new users $10 just for signing up, and an additional $10 for every referred friend, while Musk’s company was offering $20 per new user.
These extreme measures were something of a problem, as the negative cashflow was affecting both companies until things reached a “this town ain’t big enough for the two of us) level.
Instead of running the risk of one or both companies going out of business, X.com merged with PayPal to create a super company headed up by Bill Harris, with Elon Musk as the Chairman and Peter Thiel as the Chief Financial Officer.
The drama was far from over, however, as money was still being lost, and the attitudes of the two companies could not have been more different, resulting in much butting of heads.
Thiel and Harris had an argument that led to Thiel leaving PayPal, followed by Musk calling an emergency board meeting to see Harris replaced as CEO, a position Musk himself then took on.
Despite company surveys showing little want for X.com in comparison to PayPal, Musk still looked to phase out the latter, but Levchin led a mutiny with the former team that ran PayPal, this resulted in the board removing Musk as CEO, with Thiel taking over as interim CEO, and Elon Musk going off to create the likes of Tesla and SpaceX, so it’s fair to say he did okay out of the situation too!
The internal drama may have ended here, but the story of PayPal was not yet done, because it was time to find a buyer.
Deciding to take the company public, after both Google and Yahoo refused suggested offers of %600 million, PayPal then saw an offer of $400 million from eBay, accompanied by the affectionate quote:
“We are going to make this offer once and then crush you, you should really take this offer.”
However, PayPal have always liked a risk, so they refused, eBay then offered $850 million, claiming that this was definitely their final offer, but PayPal stood firm again, and went public, seeing the company valued at $1.2 billion, eBay ended up purchasing PayPal in 2002 for the less than gentle price of $1.5 million.
At this point, the founders of PayPal stepped away, collectively $100 million better off for the experience, Hoffman went to cofound LinkedIn, while Thiel invested $750,000 in Facebook and joined the board of the company.
PayPal today is worth almost $50 billion, and boasts one of the most ridiculous backstories of any company in the world!
Benefits for iGaming Customers
Coming forward to the present day, PayPal finds itself being a large part of the online casino market thanks to the safety and simplicity of depositing and withdrawing funds using this method.
Giving personal details to online casinos is something that many players are nervous about, so the ability to use PayPal as a middle man, ensuring money and personal information is protected, is something that appeals greatly.
Add to that the fact that PayPal offers instant deposits and withdrawals from your favourite online casinos, and the fact that there are hardly any online casinos that do not accept PayPal at this point, it is not difficult to see why it’s got to the point that offering PayPal is no longer a perk for an online casino, it is now an expectation.
Competition will continue to come in various forms, but PayPal has proven its indefatigability over the years, and at this point, it is hard to imaging it would ever feel sensible to bet against them to continue to succeed!
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