PayPal Launches Cryptocurrency Services in the UK

PayPal Cryptocurrency

Customers can trade four cryptocurrencies on PayPal: Bitcoin, Ether, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash.

Starting this week, PayPal users in the UK will be able to buy, hold and sell cryptocurrency using the app. On August 23, 2021, the digital payment company announced the launch of its cryptocurrency service in the UK. This marks the company’s first international expansion of its cryptocurrency services beyond the US. Users will get to choose from Bitcoin, Ether, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash. They can buy cryptocurrency for as low as GBP 1; the maximum amount for a single crypto purchase is GBP 15,000. The launch comes amid surging Bitcoin prices as Bitcoin’s value crossed US$50,000 for the first time since May this year.

PayPal has over 400 million active accounts across more than 200 countries, making it one of the largest digital payment companies in the world. In October last year, the company launched its cryptocurrency services in the US. In March 2021, it launched a “Checkout with Crypto” service that allowed people to shop using cryptocurrency. Since then, PayPal has been driven to roll out new initiatives, enhancing its cryptocurrency abilities.

PayPal’s foray into cryptocurrency began in 2016 when Chief Executive Dan Schulman brought the Co-founder of Bitcoin wallet Xapo Wences Casares on board. Their goal was to transform PayPal into a trusted platform to help users navigate the uncertain and volatile cryptocurrency world. Schulman believes that cryptocurrency makes the financial system more inclusive and efficient. In an interview, he said, “I do believe that governments, central banks are understanding that the world is moving towards digital payments, that you cannot manage monetary policy through the issuance of banknotes.”

In an article Schulman wrote for Fortune magazine, he explained that the mainstream adoption of digital currencies would boost accessibility, especially for people who are underrepresented and have lower incomes. He acknowledges that the adoption of cryptocurrencies has been slow, but he believes that it is inevitable. After all, cryptocurrency is the great equalizer, allowing all citizens regardless of their background to access money directly whenever they need it. In another interview, he declared, “In the next five to 10 years, you’re going to see more change in the financial system than you have over the past 10 to 20 years.” He is ensuring that PayPal makes the most of this change.

In a press release, the Head of the Blockchain, Crypto and Digital Currencies at PayPal Jose Fernandez da Ponte said, “Our global reach, digital payments expertise and knowledge of consumer and businesses, combined with rigorous security and compliance controls, provides us with the unique opportunity, and the responsibility, to help people in the UK to explore cryptocurrency.”

Header Image by Flickr

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