U.S. online payments giant, PayPal, on Monday said it is launching its cryptocurrency service in the United Kingdom to let British customers buy, hold and sell digital currencies.
PayPal is one of the biggest consumer finance firms which provides access to cryptocurrencies, with more than 403 million active accounts. The rollout marks the first international expansion of PayPal’s cryptocurrency services, which first launched in the United States in October last year. PayPal’s cryptocurrency services have been doing well in the United States, and the company said it expects the service to also do well in the United Kingdom.
With PayPal’s crypto service, customers will be able to buy or sell bitcoin, ether, litecoin, and bitcoin cash through their PayPal wallets online or on the mobile app. Users can also track crypto prices in real-time, and find educational content on the market. Like the U.S. version of the service, PayPal’s cryptocurrency service in the United Kingdom will be powered by Paxos, a New York-regulated digital currency company, to enable crypto buying and selling.
The San Jose, California-based company said it has approached regulators in the United Kingdom to launch the service. “We are committed to continuing to work closely with regulators in the UK and around the world, to offer our support and significantly contribute to shaping the role digital currencies will play into the future of global finance and commerce”, Jose Fernandez da Ponte, PayPal’s Vice President, and General Manager for Blockchain, Crypto, and Digital Currencies, said in a statement.
PayPal’s crypto service will face competition from recognized crypto exchange Coinbase, as well as from fintech firms such as Revolut. Similar to Revolut, PayPal’s crypto service does not allow a user to move their crypto holdings outside the app. Although Revolut recently started testing a feature that will let users withdraw bitcoin to their wallets.
PayPal aims to encourage the global use of virtual coins by making it easier for people to participate in the market. PayPal is one of many large finance companies that have delved into the cryptocurrency market; other major companies such as MasterCard, Tesla, and Facebook, have also warmed to crypto lately, despite ongoing concerns about price volatility, consumer protection, and potential money laundering in the industry.
PayPal’s launch comes amid concerns from regulators about the proliferation of digital currencies and the loosely regulated crypto world. In June, the Financial Conduct Authority banned the British subsidiary of Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, on claims that the platform provided too high risks for investors, which could end in investors losing all their money.
However, more established financial firms have started offering their clients, consumers, and institutions, access to digital assets, amid rising cryptocurrency prices. PayPal strongly believes that digital currencies will take a greater role in e-commerce in the long run.
While PayPal’s launch in the United Kingdom is its first international expansion of cryptocurrency services, it definitely will not be the last, as the company said it plans to continue to expand to other markets.