PayPal to let UK users buy, hold and sell cryptocurrencies

Users can opt for either Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash via the PayPal app or website

PayPal has launched a new service for UK customers that enables them to buy, hold and sell cryptocurrencies on the platform. 

The service, which is available via both the PayPal app and website, is rolling out this week, with customers able to choose from four different cryptocurrencies - Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash. 

The announcement marks the first international expansion of PayPal's crypto offerings outside of the US and another push for the tech to reach the mainstream in the UK. Cryptocurrencies are considered private money under English law and are still largely seen as volatile

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"The pandemic has accelerated digital change and innovation across all aspects of our lives - including the digitisation of money and greater consumer adoption of digital financial services," said Jose Fernandez da Ponte, VP and GM of blockchain, crypto and digital currencies at PayPal. 

"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."

Customers can start by purchasing as little as £1 worth of cryptocurrency and the new service will allow them to view real-time crypto prices, access educational content to help them answer commonly asked questions about the tech, and also learn more about cryptocurrencies, which includes information about the opportunities and risks they present.

In addition to its new crypto services, PayPal is also exploring other potential avenues of digital currencies in partnership with other platforms and global central banks. Its internal blockchain research team is looking at the next generation of digital financial services infrastructure and enhancements to digital commerce.

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