Payment giant PayPal is extending its crypto trade services to U.K. customers starting this week. This means customers in the UK can now buy, hold and sell crypto using PayPal. This is a major development for PayPal in the digital assets business in the U.K. as it stands for the largest customer base in entire Europe with over 2 million monthly active users. It also marks the first international expansion of PayPal’s crypto product since it launched in the U.S. last year.
The payment giant made an announcement on Sunday that customers in the U.K. will have access to Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) through PayPal’s website and mobile app. Customers can trade these cryptos for as little as £1 and can also track crypto prices in real-time, and find educational content on the market.
A senior executive for PayPal’s crypto division, Jose Fernandez da Ponte, mentioned the “digitization of money” during the pandemic as one of the primary motivations for entering crypto in the first place and emphasized that PayPal’s global reach, digital payments expertise, and knowledge of consumer and businesses, combined with rigorous security and compliance controls will provide PayPal the unique opportunity, and the responsibility, to help people in the U.K. to explore cryptocurrency.
Similar to the U.S. version of the product, PayPal is using Paxos, a New York-regulated digital currency company, to enable crypto buying and selling in the U.K. It has engaged with relevant U.K. regulators to launch the service. Crypto regulations in the U.K. are getting strict day by day. The largest crypto exchange in the world Binance had to shut down its U.K. operations this summer after the FCA warned the exchange it was not permitted to offer regulated trading activity in the country.
The U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority, or FCA, is increasingly cracking down on cryptocurrency exchanges that do not meet its registration requirements. PayPal’s da Ponte said his company is “committed to continuing working closely with regulators in the U.K. and around the world” in rolling out its crypto offerings.
PayPal entry into crypto will make it easier for people to participate in the market. The tokens and coins have been around for a while but you had to be a relatively sophisticated user to be able to access that. Having that on a platform like ours makes a really good entry point.Jose Fernandez da Ponte, A senior executive for PayPal’s crypto division