PayPal launches UK crypto service

PayPal has announced the launch of a new service that enables UK customers to buy, hold, and sell cryptocurrency.

PayPal customers in the UK will be able to choose from four types of cryptocurrencies — Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash. They can start by buying as little as £1 of cryptocurrency via the platform.

The roll out of the new service will begin this week.

By accessing their PayPal account via the website or the mobile app, users 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.

The announcement marks the first international expansion of the company’s cryptocurrency offering outside of the United States.

“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, 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.”

Fernandez continued: "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.”

In March, the company announced ‘Checkout with Crypto’— enabling customers in the US to use cryptocurrency alongside other payment methods in their PayPal wallet to make purchases at businesses.

In April, the PayPal introduced crypto services on its mobile payment service Venmo in the U.S.

PayPal said that in addition to its existing cryptocurrency services, it has been exploring the potential of digital currencies through partnerships with licensed and regulated cryptocurrency platforms and with central banks around the world.

According to the online payment platform, over the past five years it 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.

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