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PayPal Blockchain Experiment: a Token for Internal Company Rewards

Online payments giant PayPal has launched an in-house reward system for its employees that’s underpinned by a blockchain and an associated token. The token, which can’t be redeemed for cash but can be traded within the company, is aimed at giving PayPal employees perks and hands-on experience with distributed ledger tech. 

Also see: After Hash War and Choppy Markets, Bitcoin Cash Nears ETH Price

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Fun and Games Comes with Increased Technical Experience in Blockchain

PayPal launched the new rewards-focused platform in November 2018, the company’s Director of Innovation Michael Todasco has confirmed to Cheddar.

The platform’s blockchain, which was developed over a half-year period by a small team at PayPal’s San Jose innovation hub for the purpose of increasing that team’s familiarity with the tech, will serve as a ledger for tracking and trading tokens that can be used to claim internal company rewards.

Initially, PayPal will assign a certain amount of tokens to each employee and then employees can earn more by pitching innovative ideas, partaking in company programs, and trading. 

Is there a long-term future for blockchain at PayPal? That remains to be seen for now.

Though they’ll have no exchange value beyond PayPal’s internal affairs, the tokens can be traded in for dozens of experienced-based perks, such as participating in recreational activities with the company’s top executives.  

“[It’s a] Venmo-like feed people can like and comment on and see all the activity going on within PayPal related to innovation,” Todasco noted. 

PayPal Blockchain Destined to Be Shelved? Maybe, But Big Enterprises Still Doing Their DLT Homework

There are no guarantees for now as to what PayPal’s future outlook will be toward blockchain and cryptocurrencies.

But in the very least, the cultivation of the new rewards system is notable in that:

  1. PayPal uses its innovation labs to familiarize their builders with tech the company may embrace further at a later date;
  2. The program shows the payments powerhouse is directly internally  experimenting with a rudimentary blockchain use case.

These realities will mean different things to different people. But they’re likely to be scrutinized further in the weeks and months ahead due to PayPal’s mainstream stature.

Other heavyweight enterprises have been embracing blockchain more fully as of late. The biggest of these embraces came from e-commerce giant Amazon, which just launched a number of blockchain-related services in November 2018. 

As far as in-house tokens go, though, PayPal has a predecessor in banking power BBVA. The firm’s token system, which works similarly to PayPal’s and was launched this past summer, incentivizes proactive employee conduct.

“We are global pioneers when it comes to using tokens for training in a corporate environment,” BBVA’s CTO for New Digital Businesses Carlos Kuchkovsky said at the time. 

“For the first time, BBVA is exploring token-based economic models.” 

In somewhat related fashion, Japan’s leading shipping company Nippon Yusen KK recently announced the launch its own digital currency, a stablecoin pegged to the U.S. dollar, as a way to pay its seafaring workers.

The initiative was reportedly aimed at cutting costs associated with transferring salaries to employees abroad.

Will the PayPal blockchain initiative go anywhere? Will crypto token economics become a trend among other business sectors? Share your views in the comments section below.

Images via Pixabay

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