PayPal Launches Crypto Services in UK
The UK becomes PayPal’s first crypto expansion outside the U.S.
The company has been gradually building up its crypto offerings.
Starting Monday, PayPal’s U.K. customers can buy, sell, and hold Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin.
Customers can buy as little as £1 ($1.3) worth of the cryptocurrencies using their bank account, PayPal balance, or debit card through a crypto tab on PayPal’s website and mobile app.
The U.K. is the second nation to access these services after the digital payments behemoth rolled out its crypto suite in the U.S. in October 2020. It offers the same four coins to U.S. customers.
PayPal does not charge customers for HODLing but will charge transaction and currency conversion fees. It has not provided a fee schedule, but in the U.S. fees range from 50 cents for purchases under $25 to 1.5% of the transaction for purchases over $1,000.
Customers can’t transfer crypto to other wallets. Crypto purchased through PayPal can only be spent through the app, though the company is reportedly working to change that—at least in the U.S., as is competitor Robinhood.
Paypal CEO Dan Schulman told Decrypt in March that crypto could eventually form part of a “super app” that would cover shopping, financial services, and identification.
That month, PayPal launched ‘Checkout with Crypto,’ allowing its US customers to pay merchants in cryptocurrency. In April, the company added crypto services to its popular mobile payment service, Venmo.
Last July, PayPal partnered with Paxos Crypto Brokerage for its crypto payments services, and in March 2021 the company acquired Curv, an Israeli startup that helps banks and others secure their crypto holdings for nearly $200 million. PayPal has also invested in crypto risk management software TRM Labs, tax software TaxBit and trading infrastructure Talos.
Unlike companies like Tesla and Square, PayPal doesn’t hold crypto on its balance sheet. “We don’t necessarily like the ups and downs of what can happen if you invest in a certain asset class,” Schulman told Decrypt in March.
Getting high off of one’s own supply is rarely a good idea, after all.