Some time ago PayPal launched its cryptocurrency service in the US, which allowed customers to buy, sell and hold the following cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash.
The UK will be the first country after the US to gain this offering from PayPal. Users can buy crypto from only £1 and can track the value in real-time on their PayPal account.
However, while PayPal will allow users to buy, hold and sell crypto, it will not be possible to transfer crypto out of PayPal to different wallets. This is a major downside to PayPal’s crypto offering: the fact that customers will never actually have full control over any of the crypto that they hold within PayPal. Still, the simplicity and ease of using the service are likely to introduce new people to cryptocurrencies.
Jose Fernandez da Ponte, PayPal’s General Manager for Blockchain, Crypto and Digital Currencies has said the crypto offering has been doing really well in the US and he expects it to also do well in the UK.
Crypto overall has had a really great year so far, despite the recent drop in value for most coins, their value has recently begun to recover. Some even predict coins such as Bitcoin will hit all-time highs again later this year.
PayPal isn’t the first large company to get involved with cryptocurrencies either. Tesla began accepting Bitcoin payments a while back, before later suspending the payment option due to environmental concerns, which will likely return in the future. Other companies such as Mastercard, Square and Facebook have also been involved with cryptocurrencies.
There are currently many companies offering solutions to buying, selling and holding crypto, such as Coinbase and Binance (the latter of which is banned in the UK by the FCA). However, there haven’t been many solutions for actually making paying with crypto easier, which in some cases isn’t always as simple as it should be or as cheap either. It does seem to a limited point that PayPal will make paying with crypto really easy, but only if customers hold coins with PayPal, which must also be purchased through them.
The offering from PayPal will no doubt be welcome among the crypto community, even if the crypto product from PayPal is more restrictive than some may hope. It is very clear that crypto is becoming much more mainstream and it is certainly becoming easier to access than ever before.