PayPal launches cryptocurrency service in the UK

This is the first international expansion of PayPal’s cryptocurrency offering outside of the US

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PayPal launches cryptocurrency service in the UK

PayPal is rolling out its cryptocurrency service, giving users the ability to hold, buy and sell Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash, in the UK. 

Users will, over the next few weeks, be able to trade these cryptocurrencies via their PayPal accounts. The payments company is also providing real-time crypto prices and educational content to answer common questions and outline opportunities and risks.

This is the first international expansion of PayPal’s cryptocurrency offering outside of the US. The company says that its trusted reputation as a payments processor could lead to the digital asset class becoming mainstream in the UK.

Jose Fernandez da Ponte, vice president and general manager of blockchain, crypto and digital currencies at PayPal, says: “Our global reach, digital payments expertise, and knowledge of consumer and businesses, combined with rigorous security and compliance controls provides us the unique opportunity, and the responsibility, to help people in the UK to explore cryptocurrency.”

Fernandez da Ponte adds: “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.”

Further information about the cryptocurrency service will be revealed in the next few weeks. PayPal says it will there will be no fees for holding cryptocurrency in accounts, but the company will charge for transactions.

PayPal is one of the largest companies globally to enter the market for digital currencies with its announcement last October that it would allow US customers to buy, hold and sell cryptocurrencies.

This March, PayPal launched Checkout with Crypto, enabling customers in the US to use their cryptocurrency alongside other payment methods in their PayPal wallet to make purchases at businesses around the world. In April, the company also introduced crypto services on its mobile payment service Venmo in the US. 

In addition to providing these cryptocurrency services, PayPal has been exploring the potential of digital currencies through partnerships with licensed and regulated cryptocurrency platforms and with central banks.

For the past five years, PayPal has increased its focus on, and invested resources in its internal blockchain research team to explore the next generation of digital financial services infrastructure and enhancements to digital commerce.

The company has enabled its cryptocurrency offering through a partnership with Paxos Trust Company.

PayPal’s venture capital arm has also made investments in blockchain and cryptocurrency-related startups, including: TRM Labs, a provider of cryptocurrency risk management software; TaxBit, a provider of crypto tax software to customers and exchanges; and Talos, which offers institutional-grade infrastructure technology for digital asset trading.