For several months now, online payment giant PayPal has been making eyes at cryptocurrencies. After launching a service dedicated to them in the United States, PayPal is now coming to Europe, more precisely to the United Kingdom.
The history of PayPal and cryptocurrencies
Early last summer, a crazy rumor circulated within the cryptocurrency sphere that online payment giant PayPal was about to accept cryptocurrencies. A few months later, in November 2020, the latter officially announced the launch of a service for buying and selling cryptos from its platform. Thus, the company’s customers finally had the opportunity to buy or sell bitcoin (BTC) as well as other crypto currencies, such as ether (ETH), litecoin (LTC) and bitcoin cash (BCH).
Unfortunately for Europeans, this service was only available to US-based customers.
Faced with the exponential demand for this new service, PayPal opened the floodgates wide by gradually increasing the purchase limit from $10,000 per week, to $20,000, then to $50,000 and finally to $100,000, last July.
In addition to this buy and sell service, PayPal has added the ability to pay in cryptocurrencies to its Venmo mobile payment service.
On the downside: it’s still impossible for users to withdraw their cryptocurrencies to a wallet external to PayPal, though the company plans to eventually offer withdrawals.
PayPal lands in the UK
Just over 10 months after launching its product in the United States, PayPal is finally starting to open up its service to other countries. According to information reported by Reuters, UK customers will be able to take advantage of the offer starting August 23.
“We are committed to continuing to work closely with regulators in the U.K., and around the world, to offer our support – and make a significant contribution to shaping the role that digital currencies will play in the future of global finance and commerce.”Jose Fernandez da Ponte, vice president and general manager blockchain at PayPal
While the fees in the U.K. for purchasing cryptocurrencies have not yet been disclosed, it’s a safe bet that they will align with those in the U.S., i.e. 50 cents under $25 and up to 1.5 percent for purchases over $1,000.
As a result of its location in the UK, PayPal is now competing with local giants such as Coinbase and neo-bank Revolut. However, unlike other companies of its stature, PayPal does not hold any cryptocurrencies in its treasury, as the company is not (yet?) very fond of the ups and downs inherent in such assets.
Another world-class payment company has taken another step into the crypto universe. Indeed, on August 23, VISA announced the acquisition of an NFT CryptoPunk for a cool $165,000. Will companies in this sector succeed in globalizing Bitcoin and its cadets?