August 23, 2021 - In October 2020, PayPal announced that it would facilitate the ability of its US customers to buy, hold and sell cryptocurrency directly from their PayPal account. Today the company has announced the first international expansion of the service as it makes the service available to customers in the UK. This new service starts rolling out this week.

In the announcement today, PayPal says that customers can choose from four types of cryptocurrencies—Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash. By accessing their PayPal account via the website or the mobile app, they can view real-time crypto prices, access educational content to help answer commonly asked questions, and learn more about cryptocurrencies, including the opportunities and risks. With over 330,000 daily active users in the UK, the highest number in Europe, this move by PayPal has the potential to bring access to and knowledge of cryptocurrency in to the mainstream in the UK. Germany is the country in Europe with second highest PayPal daily active users of the PayPal app, which could mean that Germany is the next country for PayPal's crypto roll-out.

"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, Vice President and General Manager, 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."

PayPal customers can start by buying as little as £1 of cryptocurrency through the payment network. To purchase cryptocurrency, eligible customers can log into their PayPal account via the website or their mobile app, navigate to the new crypto tab to view the four cryptocurrencies available and view current pricing and trends.

Customers can choose from pre-determined purchase amounts or enter in their own purchase amount, before following the prompts to buy the cryptocurrency of their choice. Customers will be able to fund their PayPal account for the purchase using their bank account or debit card. If customers choose to sell cryptocurrency with this new service, funds are normally available quickly to spend in their PayPal account. There will be no fees to hold cryptocurrency in a PayPal account. There will be transaction fees and currency conversion fees for buying and selling applicable cryptocurrencies.

Todays announcement makes much of PayPal's provision to its account holders of educational content to help them understand the cryptocurrency ecosystem, the volatility, risks, and opportunities related to purchasing cryptocurrency.

In March this year, the company announced 'Checkout with Crypto'— enabling customers in the U.S. to use their cryptocurrency alongside other payment methods in their PayPal wallet to make purchases at businesses around the world. In April, the company introduced crypto services on its mobile payment service Venmo in the U.S.

PayPal has been exploring the potential of digital currencies through partnerships with licensed and regulated cryptocurrency platforms and with central banks around the world. For the past five years, PayPal has increased its focus on, and invested resources in its internal blockchain research team to explore the next generation of digital financial services infrastructure and enhancements to digital commerce.

The company has enabled its cryptocurrency offering through a partnership with Paxos Trust Company. PayPal's venture capital arm has also made investments in blockchain and cryptocurrency-related start-ups including: TRM Labs, leading cryptocurrency risk management software; TaxBit, a provider of crypto tax software to customers and exchanges; and Talos, institutional-grade infrastructure technology for digital asset trading.

In the UK, PayPal's new crypto offering which covers buying, holding and selling cryptocurrency will start to roll out this week and will be available within the next few weeks for all eligible customers directly in their PayPal account via the website and their mobile app.

This morning Bitcoin's price was above $50,000 for the first time since May 2021: