PayPal steps up its crypto push by allowing British customers to buy, hold, and sell 4 digital tokens

Luis Alvarez
PayPal customers in the UK can now buy, hold and sell cryptocurrency starting next week.

Initial access to the service is limited to bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ethereum and litecoin.

This is PayPal's first international expansion of a crypto product outside the US.

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PayPal announced Monday that customers from the UK will now be able to buy, hold and sell cryptocurrency starting next week.

PayPal stated that users can initially choose from a limited number of options, including bitcoin, bitcoin cash and ethereum.

Monday's rollout marks the company’s first international expansion of its crypto products. The company stated that customers from the UK can start by purchasing 1 ($1.37) worth of cryptocurrency on the platform.

As central banks evaluate the relationship between crypto products and traditional payment platforms, compliance and regulation will continue to be a key topic in discussions about the digital currency sector.

"We are committed in continuing to work closely with regulators throughout the UK and around the globe to offer our support and meaningfully contribute towards shaping the role digital currency will play in global finance and commerce," Jose Fernandez da Ponte (VP and general manager for digital currencies at PayPal) said in a Monday statement.

Any UK customer who is eligible or whose identity has been verified will be able access a new tab in their PayPal account to view the trends and pricing of four cryptocurrencies. Although cryptocurrency can be held in any account without fees, transactions and currency conversion fees will apply.

The crypto customers are not eligible for PayPal business accounts.

Customers in the US were able to buy and sell the same four cryptocurrencies via the payments platform in October last year, during the increased interest in digital assets by central banks and consumers.

Fernandez da Ponte stated that the US launch is doing "really well" in an interview with CNBC. "We anticipate it will do well in the UK," Fernandez da Ponte said.

The "checkout with cryptocurrency" service was then followed by another that allowed customers from the US to use their crypto when they made online payments with merchants. The UK is not allowed to use the same service, which allows them to pay merchants in cryptocurrency.

PayPal's cryptocurrency offering is very similar to Revolut, a UK fintech. Both apps have so far not allowed users to transfer their crypto holdings outside of their wallets.

PayPal CEO Dan Schulman hopes that the company will be ready to support central banks digital currencies (CBDC). After China started to test its digital renminbi, he believes CBDCs will be inevitable.

He stated that he believes that central banks and governments are realizing that digital payments are becoming more common that you can manage monetary policy by issuing banknotes.

Institutional investors are showing increased interest in bitcoins and other cryptocurrency due to the demand for smart-contract platforms.

Digital assets can be subject to extreme price volatility because they are not regulated centrally.

Bitcoin's three-month peak of $50,000 was reached on Monday. This brings its year-to date gain to 73%. This is 21% less than its April record of close to $65,000, but it is still a significant improvement. Ether rose by 2% to $3333 per coin and cardano's ADA rose by 8% to $2.82

Read more: A crypto-trading company's CEO explains how institutions can beat DeFi performance - and what might become the third most dominant cryptocurrency

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