Digital payments giant PayPal is to allow its UK customers to buy, sell and store Bitcoin and three other cryptocurrencies.
The move follows a successful trial of the crypto offering in the United States. The service will be available through both the companies app and website.
Initially customers will be limited to Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH), although it is possible this will be expanded in the future.
In an official statement, PayPal outlined the core reasons behind the move. They are:
- To give people access to cryptocurrency in “a secure and responsible way”.
- Encourage PayPal’s customers to “research and learn about the opportunities and risks in cryptocurrency before transacting”.
The move marks the company’s first international expansion of its cryptocurrency offering outside of the US.
Customers will be show real time crypto prices when they login and newcomers can access educational content to help them get started with cryptocurrency.
The company says that with “a trusted brand like PayPal now making an entry”, cryptocurrency has the “potential to become mainstream in the UK”.
Jose Fernandez da Ponte, vice president and general manager, Blockchain, Crypto and Digital Currencies at PayPal, said: “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.
“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.”
PayPal customers can buy as little as £1 of cryptocurrency through a new crypto tab that will appear in the account landing page.
Customers can fund their accounts using either a bank account or debit card, and the proceeds from crypto they sell should be available to spend almost immediately.
There are no fees to hold crypto with PayPal, however transaction fees will be applied, together with currency conversion fees for buying and selling crypto.
PayPal has partnered with Paxos Trust Company, a regulated blockchain infrastructure platform, to provide its cryptocurrency offering.
Adam is the founder of The Crypto Adviser which offers experts guides and reviews on all things related to Bitcoin and cryptocurrency.
Adam is Diploma for Financial Advisers (DipFA) Level 4 qualified, a Member of the London Institute of Banking and Finance (MLIBF), and has worked for many years as a journalist and PR consultant, having studied with the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ).