PayPal launches crypto in UK where British customers will be able to buy, hold and sell digital currencies, starting this week. It marks the first international expansion of PayPal’s crypto product after United States.
The roll out, which marks the first international expansion of PayPal’s cryptocurrencies services outside of the United States, could inspire further mainstream adoption of the new asset class. With over 403 million active accounts globally, the San Jose, California-based company is one of the largest mainstream financial companies to offer consumers access to cryptocurrencies.
PayPal stated it will begin to allow users in Britain to buy, hold and sell cryptocurrency through the online payment platform for the first time. The expansion into the hot digital money trend follows similar moves by the payments giant in the United States earlier this year. The US firm said its new service would allow UK-based customers to choose from four types of cryptocurrency: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash.
They will be available both via the PayPal app and its website, with the expansion set to start this week and be available to all eligible customers within the next few weeks.
A new cryptocurrency tab will be added to its platform, showing real-time currency prices, PayPal stated.
“The pandemic has accelerated digital change and innovation across all aspects of our lives, including the digitization of money and greater consumer adoption of digital financial services. He also added the firm hoped the new offering would “help people in the UK to explore cryptocurrency.
Jose Fernandez da Ponte, of PayPal.
“We are committed to continue working closely with regulators in the UK, and around the world, to offer our support and meaningfully contribute to shaping the role digital currencies will play in the future of global finance and commerce.” Jose Fernandez da Ponte, vice president and general manager for blockchain, crypto and digital currencies at PayPal, said in a statement.
Customers will be able to buy bitcoin, ether, litecoin and bitcoin cash through their PayPal wallets online or on the mobile app.
PayPal launches crypto in UK – another “Britcoin” ?
Cryptocurrencies and the companies that offer them are under major scrutiny by global regulators, as the sector remains unregulated in many developed countries. While PayPal is a regulated business, the process of buying, selling and holding cryptocurrencies is still largely unchecked.
In June, the FCA had banned the British subsidiary of Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, citing a failure to meet money laundering requirements. The central banks are also exploring the potential issuance of their own digital currencies, as cash use in a number of developed countries dwindles rapidly. In April, the U.K. Treasury and Bank of England had stated that they would evaluate the potential launch of a digital version of the British pound, dubbed “Britcoin” by the U.K. press.
“It makes sense that, as there is increased consumer interest and increased volume, the regulators are putting more attention into this space,” da Ponte said, adding that PayPal has built “strong regulatory relations.”
Da Ponte said central bank digital currencies, or CBDCs, were a “fantastic prospect” but it would take policymakers some time to iron out the key issues involved. The company hopes its foray into the new asset class would encourage global use of virtual coins and prepare its network for new digital currencies that may be developed by corporations and central banks.
PayPal launches crypto in UK where customers can choose from – Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash
This is not the first time. In UK, PayPal’s service will rivalry of established cryptocurrency exchanges such as Coinbase Global Inc, as well as well Fintech startups such as Revolut.