Bottom line: PayPal's involvement with cryptocurrency is a big deal for all parties involved. It will no doubt increase awareness of alternative payment methods and boost their validity while simultaneously providing merchants with more ways for customers to pay.

The rumor mill was spot on once again. Just a few months after word first surfaced that PayPal was working on a cryptocurrency program, the fintech giant on Wednesday confirmed it is launching a service that will grant users the ability to buy, sell and hold select cryptocurrencies directly within the PayPal digital wallet.

PayPal said it will initially support Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum and Litecoin when it launches for US accountholders in the coming weeks. Support will be expanded to Venmo and select international markets in the first half of 2021, we're told.

PayPal is partnering with Paxos Trust Company, a regulated company that holds both physical and digital assets, to power the service in the US. A post over on Medium goes into greater detail on the matter from Paxos' perspective.

Starting in early 2021, PayPal customers will also be able to use their crypto holdings as a funding source to make purchases from its 26 million merchant partners worldwide. At the time of purchase, consumers will be able to convert their crypto to fiat to complete the transaction without any additional fees.

Image credit: Dan Eady, grejak