PayPal launches crypto services in the UK

    24 Aug 2021

    PayPal announced the launch of crypto services through its platform to its millions of users in the UK as the country becomes just the second country after the US that PayPal has decided to launch the crypto services in.

    The US online payments giant said Monday it would let British customers buy, hold and sell digital currencies,  including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash, starting this week. It is the first international expansion of PayPal’s crypto services after the first launch in the US last October.

    “It has been doing really well in the U.S.,” Jose Fernandez da Ponte, PayPal’s general manager for blockchain, crypto, and digital currencies, told CNBC. “We expect it’s going to do well in the U.K.”

    U.K. customers to purchase cryptocurrency can now do it via the PayPal website or mobile app, where they can choose from pre-determined purchase amounts or enter another amount their choosing. PayPal says users will be able to start buying as little as £1 of cryptocurrency if they choose. However, the company claims transaction fees and currency conversion fees when buying and selling cryptocurrency. These vary based on the amount of cryptocurrency being bought or sold.

    The new service itself is very much like PayPal’s U.S. offering, with one notable exception. PayPal told us it’s tailoring the transaction limits for its U.K. customers. At launch, the maximum amount for any single crypto purchase is £15,000. The maximum amount for purchases over a 12-month period is £35,000. In the U.S., the company had initially launched the service with a $20,000 weekly purchase limit. But it upped that to $100,000 in July and dropped its annual purchase limit.

    Like the U.S. version of the product, PayPal is relying on Paxos, a New York-regulated digital currency company, to enable crypto buying and selling in the U.K. PayPal said it has engaged with relevant U.K. regulators to launch the service.

    Paypal has been treading pretty carefully in the crypto industry, as the regulations and the laws surrounding this sector are still in the nascent stages, and they do not want to rub the regulators the wrong way and get into trouble in the long run, like what Binance has been facing recently.

    But this adoption of crypto by Paypal should spur other big crypto companies like Coinbase into upping their game to match what Paypal is doing. This competition is likely to benefit the whole cryptocurrency ecosystem.

    We had also recently reported that Paypal was augmenting its team in Ireland as it eyes further expansion and growth to other regions with Europe.

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