UK PayPal users are now able to buy, hold and sell cryptocurrencies on the site.
British users will be able to start buying or selling from as little as £1, with the site also offering real-time price tracking and advice on the latest crypto news.
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Crypto on PayPal
The move is the first international expansion of PayPal's digital currency offering following an initial launch in the US in October 2020, which enabled its US customers to buy, store and sell Bitcoin and a handful of other cryptocurrencies. The caveat is that customers aren't allowed to take the crypto out of PayPal's system, for example into a cold storage wallet.
“It has been doing really well in the U.S.,” PayPal general manager for blockchain, crypto and digital currencies Jose Fernandez da Ponte, told CNBC. “We expect it’s going to do well in the UK.”
PayPal hopes the move will encourage more people to explore the world of cryptocurrencies, as well as open up new horizons for its own money transfer services.
“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.”
Noting that digital currencies are becoming a popular topic of conversation for businesses and governments alike across the world, da Ponte added that PayPal still expects it to take some time for all regulatory issues to be worked out.
However the company will still plan to expand the product range into other markets, after seeing how well the US and UK launches go.
“We are very deliberate about starting with initial functionality, and then we’ll see where the market is going to take us. Different markets have different appetite for products.” da Ponte noted.
PayPal strenghtened its cryptocurrency offering with the acquisition of specialized security firm Curv in March 2021, with the Tel-Aviv based start-up promising to safeguard its customers' digital assets through an innovative method of cryptography.
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