PayPal, the multinational online payments company, will now allow its U.K customers to buy, hold and sell cryptocurrencies through its platform for the first time, marking a significant milestone for a company that began offering digital asset services less than a year ago.
The financial technology company announced yesterday that U.K. customers will have access to 4 major cryptocurrencies which includes Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Litecoin (LTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) through its website and mobile app.
The announcement marks the first expansion of PayPal’s cryptocurrency services beyond the United States, a service that first launched in November of 2020.
By offering its cryptocurrency services to its U.K customers, PayPal can now play a vital role in increasing exposure to digital assets in the country as the platform has over 2 million monthly active users in the U.K, the highest among all European countries.
What they are saying
Jose Fernandez da Ponte, a senior executive for PayPal’s crypto division, cited the “digitization of money” during the pandemic as one of the primary motivations for entering crypto in the first place. He stated, “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 U.K. to explore cryptocurrency.”
Speculations about PayPal’s crypto expansion plans have been spreading since last month when the CEO of PayPal, Dan Schulman, told investors that the U.K. is likely to get the service soon. The company is also eyeing developments in decentralized finance (DeFi), which is a possible precursor to future integration plans.
On the regulatory front, the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority, or FCA, is increasingly cracking down on cryptocurrency exchanges that do not meet its registration requirements. Binance is a prime example of how intense the crackdown has been. Binance’s U.K. operations were closed a few months ago, after the FCA warned that the exchange was not permitted to offer regulated trading activities in the country. On the regulatory front, Jose Fernandez da Ponte stated that PayPal is “committed to continue working closely with regulators in the U.K. and around the world” in rolling out its crypto offerings.
PayPal is listed on the NASDAQ exchange with stock code “PYPL”. It is trading at $272.96, up over 17% Year-to-Date as of the time of this writing. Pre-market, the stock is up 0.75%.