PayPal’s PYUSD – Innovation, Imitation, and Decentralization

Welcome to another edition of Trickster Tuesday. Today’s spotlight is on PayPal’s newly launched PYUSD stablecoin, a development that has sent ripples across the cryptoverse. From boosting Ethereum’s prospects to sparking a wave of fake tokens and igniting debates over centralization, the PYUSD saga is a tale filled with twists and turns. The launch of PYUSD represents a significant milestone in the integration of traditional finance with the world of digital assets. With the backing of US dollar deposits, US treasuries, and cash equivalents, PYUSD is designed to bridge the gap between fiat and digital currencies. But like many innovations in the crypto space, it has also opened doors to controversies and challenges.

PayPal’s Bold Move into Crypto

PayPal’s announcement of its Ethereum-based stablecoin, PYUSD, on August 7, 2023, marked a significant milestone in the integration of traditional finance with digital assets. Issued by Paxos Trust Co., PYUSD is built on Ethereum and designed for digital payments and Web3. The launch was met with both excitement and skepticism, reflecting the complex dynamics of the crypto landscape. Ethereum enthusiasts hailed the launch as a major step towards mainstream adoption. With over 430 million accounts actively using PayPal, the potential to onboard a significant portion of the world’s population onto Ethereum is immense. Industry experts believe that the ERC-20 stablecoin could push Ethereum closer to becoming the money layer of the internet, transforming the way we transact online. The integration of PYUSD presents a monumental opportunity for Ethereum, with some speculating that this could be the catalyst that propels Ethereum to become the de facto money layer of the internet. The excitement was palpable, but it was also tempered by caution and criticism.

The Dark Side of the Launch

The launch of PYUSD was not without its dark side. Within hours, nearly 30 fake PYUSD tokens appeared on various decentralized exchanges, including Uniswap. These imposters ranged from blatant scams to humorous takes on the stablecoin’s name. The rush to exploit the hype around PYUSD demonstrated the agility of scammers and the vulnerability of investors eager to get in on the action. Some of these fakes managed to amass significant trading volumes, with one such token recording a jaw-dropping $2.6 million. The audacity of these scammers was further highlighted by tokens with whimsically deceptive names like “PepeYieldUnibotSatoshiDoge.” The PYUSD stablecoin also ignited debates over centralization. Smart contract auditors pointed out that PYUSD’s contract contains functions that could be used to freeze and wipe funds, raising concerns about personal control of assets. Critics likened PayPal’s stablecoin to a censorship-enabled central bank digital currency (CBDC), sparking a broader conversation about the balance between centralization and decentralization in the crypto space. The centralization debate has raised critical questions about the role of large institutions and the need for thoughtful regulation to protect investors and preserve the decentralized ethos of the industry.

The Impact on Ethereum and the Industry

The launch of PYUSD had mixed effects on Ethereum. While it was seen as a positive development for adoption, some criticized PayPal’s engineering choices. Despite these concerns, Ethereum’s price remained relatively stable, reflecting the market’s nuanced response to the launch. The relationship between PYUSD and Ethereum is intricate and multifaceted. On one hand, the stablecoin’s launch is a testament to Ethereum’s growing influence and potential for broader adoption. However, the road is not without bumps. Critics have pointed fingers at PayPal’s engineering decisions, particularly their choice to use an older version of Solidity, raising questions about the stablecoin’s long-term viability and efficiency. The PYUSD saga underscores the need for vigilance and regulation in the market. The flood of fake tokens highlights the risks of scams and the importance of due diligence.

PayPal’s PYUSD stablecoin offers a rich tapestry of lessons and insights. It illustrates the potential for mainstream adoption of crypto, the ever-present risks of scams, and the complex debates over centralization. As we continue to explore this dynamic space, the PYUSD journey offers a microcosm of the broader crypto narrative, replete with its highs, lows, opportunities, and threats. Stories like these serve as both cautionary tales and sources of inspiration. As always, stay tuned for more Trickster Tuesday tales.

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  1. PayPal Stablecoin Fakes Flood Ethereum—Here’s How to Find the Real One – Decrypt
  2. PayPal stablecoin launch sparks wave of fake PYUSD tokens – Cointelegraph
  3. PayPal USD: Boon for Ethereum but not decentralization, says community – Cointelegraph
  4. Elon Musk-owned PayPal launches dollar, treasuries-backed stablecoin PYUSD for its customers – Mint

PayPal’s PYUSD – Innovation, Imitation, and Decentralization