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Wary Italians turn to Bitcoin for online shopping

The crypto is more popular than Visa, Mastercard, and American Express

Bitcoin is the third-most popular payment method for online shopping in Italy – even beating Visa, Mastercard, and American Express.

The data from marketing analysis firm SEMRush shows the cryptocurrency comes in at number three after PayPal and national reloadable prepaid card service PostePay.

According to Italian news outlet La Stampa, Bitcoin is used more than 215,800 times per month for online purchases in Italy, while American Express is used just 189,000 times per month.

PayPal rules the roost with around 1.3 million payment transactions per month, with payment processor PostePay close behind with almost 1.2 million.

The month in which the highest number of Bitcoin payments was recorded was June 2019 (368,000 times).

Italians are historically wary of virtual payments, preferring to pay cash on delivery or pay in-store. However, with these latest figures, it appears that the country’s mood is changing.

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In 2018, total B2C spending on e-commerce in Italy was over 40 billion euros, with 62% of Italians making at least one online purchase.

Last month, PayPal dramatically pulled out of Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency project.

The project was left in the lurch after PayPal headed for the door at the start of October, followed swiftly by Libra Association members Mastercard, Visa, eBay, and Stripe.

The worldwide electronic payments giant was one of the linchpins of Mark Zuckerberg’s crypto masterplan.

PayPal had been a founder member of the project – which has been peppered with criticism from dozens of financial regulators.

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