PayPal is set to allow UK shoppers to buy and sell Bitcoin as it launches its pioneering cryptocurrency platform outside of the US for the first time.
PayPal, which began allowing its US customers to buy, hold and sell cryptocurrencies in October last year, will launch the service in the UK later this week.
The service will be accessible from both PayPal’s website and app, allowing users to trade four different cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin and Ethereum.
While UK users will not yet be able to trade the digital currencies outside of PayPal’s ecosystem, meaning they can’t use them to purchase any goods, PayPal has launched a ‘Checkout with Crypto’ feature in the US.
It is not yet clear if and when this functionality will be launched in the UK.
PayPal’s head of digital currencies Jose Fernandez da Ponte said that he hopes the new service can help introduce people to the often “intimidating” world of cryptocurrency.
“Crypto can be an intimidating environment, people hear about hardware wallets and private keys and this and that,” he said.
“So for people who want to have their first experience, they have that conduit of doing it through us.
“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.”
Since launching its cryptocurrency trading platform in the US last year, PayPal’s transaction revenues are understood to have grown by a third in the first quarter of this year.
Last month, it announced that it would allow its users to purchase five times as much cryptocurrency as it did previously.
App users are now able buy $100,000 worth of crypto and other digital assets per week, up from $20,000, while the annual purchase limit of $50,000 has also been scrapped.