PayPal launches its cryptocurrency service in the UK

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PayPal has launched its cryptocurrency service in the U.K.

PayPal

LONDON — PayPal is launching its cryptocurrency service in the U.K.

The U.S. online payments giant said Monday it would let British customers buy, hold and sell digital currencies, starting this week.

It marks the the first international expansion of PayPal’s crypto product, which first launched in the U.S. in October last year.

“It has been doing really well in the U.S.,” Jose Fernandez da Ponte, PayPal’s general manager for blockchain, crypto and digital currencies, told CNBC. “We expect it’s going to do well in the U.K.”

PayPal’s crypto feature lets customers buy or sell bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ethereum or litecoin with as little as £1. Users can also track crypto prices in real-time, and find educational content on the market.

Like the U.S. version of the product, PayPal is relying on Paxos, a New York-regulated digital currency company, to enable crypto buying and selling in the U.K. PayPal said it has engaged with relevant U.K. regulators to launch the service.

A spokesperson for the Financial Conduct Authority, Britain’s financial services watchdog, was not immediately available for comment on the announcement.

Growing adoption

Read more about cryptocurrencies from CNBC Pro

Bitcoin, the world’s biggest digital currency, hit a record high of nearly $65,000 in April before tumbling below $30,000 in July as Chinese regulators extended a crackdown on the market. It has since recovered to a price of $48,400.

While PayPal started with crypto trading, the company is betting digital currencies will take a greater role in e-commerce in the long run. Earlier this year, PayPal started letting U.S. consumers use crypto to pay at millions of its online merchants globally. The firm also expanded crypto buying and selling to Venmo, its popular mobile wallet.

“We definitely have ambitions to continue to expand the product range in the U.S., the U.K. and other markets,” da Ponte said.

“We are very deliberate about starting with initial functionality, and then we’ll see where the market is going to take us. Different markets have different appetite for products.”

‘Britcoin’



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