PayPal announced the launch of a new service enabling its customers in the UK1 to buy, hold and sell cryptocurrency with PayPal. This new service starts rolling out this week.
Customers can choose from four types of cryptocurrencies—Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash. By accessing their PayPal account via the website or the mobile app, they can view real-time crypto prices, access educational content to help answer commonly asked questions, and learn more about cryptocurrencies, including the opportunities and risks.
This announcement marks the first international expansion of the company’s cryptocurrency offering outside of the United States. With a trusted brand like PayPal now making an entry, access, knowledge, and the exploration of cryptocurrency has the potential to become mainstream in the UK.
“The pandemic has accelerated digital change and innovation across all aspects of our lives— including the digitisation of money and greater consumer adoption of digital financial services,” said Jose Fernandez da Ponte, Vice President and General Manager, Blockchain, Crypto and Digital Currencies at PayPal. “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. 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.”
Buy, hold and sell cryptocurrency with PayPal
The introduction of this service offers customers a new way to explore cryptocurrency in the PayPal environment they know and trust. Customers can start by buying as little as £1 of cryptocurrency through PayPal. To purchase cryptocurrency, eligible customers can log into their PayPal account via the website or their mobile app, navigate to the new crypto tab to view the four cryptocurrencies available and view current pricing and trends.
Customers can choose from pre-determined purchase amounts or enter in their own purchase amount, before following the prompts to buy the cryptocurrency of their choice. Customers will be able to fund their PayPal account for the purchase using their bank account or debit card. If customers choose to sell cryptocurrency with this new service, funds are normally available quickly to spend in their PayPal account. There are no fees to hold cryptocurrency in a PayPal account. There are transaction fees and currency conversion fees for buying and selling applicable cryptocurrencies.
Create greater understanding and enable access
As part of this offering, PayPal provides account holders with educational content to help them understand the cryptocurrency ecosystem, the volatility, risks, and opportunities related to purchasing cryptocurrency. The company encourages its customers to do their research on the risks and opportunities for various cryptocurrencies before taking the step to buy, hold and sell cryptocurrency with PayPal.
Advancing the next generation of financial services infrastructure
PayPal is one of the largest companies globally to enter the market for digital currencies with its announcement last October that it would allow its millions of U.S. customers to buy, hold and sell cryptocurrencies. This March, the company announced ‘Checkout with Crypto’— enabling customers in the U.S. to use their cryptocurrency alongside other payment methods in their PayPal wallet to make purchases at businesses around the world. In April, the company introduced crypto services on its mobile payment service Venmo in the U.S.
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 around the world. 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 start-ups including: TRM Labs, leading cryptocurrency risk management software; TaxBit, a provider of crypto tax software to customers and exchanges; and Talos, institutional-grade infrastructure technology for digital asset trading.
In the UK, PayPal’s new crypto offering which covers buying, holding and selling cryptocurrency will start to roll out this week and will be available within the next few weeks for all eligible customers directly in their PayPal account via the website and their mobile app.