PayPal will now allow users outside of the United States to buy, hold, and sell cryptocurrency for the first time. The company today announced the launch of a new service that will allow UK customers to choose between four types of cryptocurrency – including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash – which can be purchased using a connected bank account or debit card.
The company first rolled out cryptocurrency support in the United States last fall, in partnership with Paxos Trust Company. This service reached all US customers by mid-November. Venmo, owned by PayPal, also added support for cryptocurrency last spring.
UK customers who wish to purchase cryptocurrency can now do so through the PayPal website or mobile app, where they can choose from predetermined purchase amounts or enter another amount of their choice. PayPal says users will be able to start buying as little as £ 1 of cryptocurrency, if they choose. There are, however, transaction fees and currency conversion fees when buying and selling cryptocurrency, the company notes. These vary depending on the amount of cryptocurrency bought or sold.
The new service itself looks a lot like PayPal’s US offering, with one notable exception. PayPal told us that it is adapting transaction limits to its UK customers. At launch, the maximum amount for any crypto purchase is £ 15,000. The maximum amount for purchases over a 12 month period is £ 35,000. In the United States, the company initially launched the service with a weekly purchase limit of $ 20,000. But he increased that amount to $ 100,000 in July and lowered his annual purchase limit.
The company also told TechCrunch that the UK made sense as the first international expansion of its cryptocurrency service, as it is a fintech hub as well as PayPal’s second largest marketplace in the world. where it has a large base of consumer customers.
“We believe that we will help the cryptocurrency ecosystem to develop further in the UK. In the United States, we knew there was a great demand for this service. Still, we were surprised to see the level of customer engagement with PayPal’s in-app encryption service from day one, ”said a PayPal spokesperson. “Since our launch, we’ve seen incredible and sustained engagement from our users. Consumers who buy, hold and sell cryptocurrencies on our platform in the United States log in at twice their previous rate, ”they added.
Cryptocurrency will also be a key feature of PayPal’s upcoming “super app”, which is expected to roll out over the next few months.
The company would not comment if or when it would expand its other cryptocurrency services in the UK, including its most recent “Checkout with Crypto,” which allows customers to pay using their cryptocurrency into millions of dollars. online businesses by first converting the necessary crypto. for the transaction in fiat currency. Instead, PayPal said it wanted to first learn and observe how its UK customers are embracing the new offering to buy, hold and sell cryptocurrency before rolling out more features and functionality.
Beyond its support for cryptocurrency in its own apps, PayPal’s venture capital arm has also made a number of crypto and blockchain investments in recent months, including participating in $ 14 million Series A for TRM Labs cryptocurrency risk management software; in the $ 40 million Series A for digital asset trading infrastructure firm, Talos; and in the $ 100 million Series A for crypto-tax software company TaxBit.
“The pandemic has accelerated digital change and innovation in all aspects of our lives, including the digitization of money and greater consumer adoption of digital financial services”, Jose Fernandez da Ponte, vice president and Managing Director, Blockchain, Crypto and Digital Currencies at PayPal, in a report.
“Our global reach, digital payments expertise and knowledge of consumers and businesses, combined with rigorous security and compliance controls, provide us with the unique opportunity and responsibility to help people in the UK to explore cryptocurrency. We are committed to continuing to work closely with regulators across the UK and around the world to offer our support and significantly contribute to shaping the role that digital currencies will play in the future of global finance and commerce. “, he added.
Currently, PayPal supports cryptocurrency in the United States, excluding Hawaii and the U.S. territories, in addition to the United Kingdom, but says it is exploring the potential of digital currencies through partnerships with licensed and regulated cryptocurrency platforms and with central banks elsewhere in the world.