Friday, October 8th, 2021
One of the world’s largest payment systems, PayPal, has now launched cryptocurrency trading in the UK. For the first time, users in the UK will be able to buy, hold, and sell cryptocurrency via its platform. Customers can choose out of the four types of cryptocurrency: Ethereum, Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash.
The way it would work is that a new crypto tab will be added within the PayPal platform. It will display currency prices in real-time. It will also feature a knowledge base filled with educational content to help address common questions and communicate the potential risks.
Making Crypto Mainstream
PayPal has made this strategic move in hopes to promote the adoption and acceptance of cryptocurrency.
The lack of regulation as well as its extreme volatility in value are huge barriers towards adoption. Critics have been quick to question the “anonymity” of users as part of their features. They argue that this type of obscurity could in fact be a cover used by cybercriminals to conceal their illegal activities.
Jose Fernandez da Ponte, vice president and general manager for blockchain, crypto and digital currencies at PayPal, stated that PayPal’s new service could help introduce more consumers to this technology and its inner workings. Eventually, this could shape how the digital currency plays its role in the future.
“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.
“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.”
EU Will Need To Stand By
A PayPal spokesperson said there was no confirmed launch date for its crypto trading product in the EU. They said, “PayPal plans to gradually roll out this functionality to other global markets in the coming years”.
Earlier this year, in March, PayPal announced a function called, “Checkout with Crypto” that allows US users to convert their crypto holdings into cash, without having to pay transaction fees, before using it to carry out a transaction.
“Checkout with Crypto” will not be available in the UK, at least not initially. The spokesperson elaborated further:
“We’re just launching our crypto buy, hold and sell service in the UK. We will learn and observe how our UK customers use our buy, hold and sell crypto offering before we start to roll out more features and functionality.”
More Companies Warming Up To Cryptocurrencies
The fact that one of the largest payment processors in the world is taking a leap of faith into the world of cryptocurrencies is telling. Despite the fact that it is largely unregulated, it’s highly volatile, and a potential for money laundering schemes, it’s not the only major company jumping on board. Facebook, Mastercard, and Tesla have been developing ways to accept cryptocurrency as well.