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PayPal expands crypto offering and bets on it becoming mainstream

With one of the earliest fintechs now offering bitcoin, it seems that established finance is taking over crypto. Or could it be the other way around?

PayPal app is seen on a smartphone in this illustration taken
Photo: Dado Ruvic/Reuters

On August 23, PayPal announced that it will allow customers in the UK to buy, hold and sell Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash in their PayPal accounts.

It marks the first expansion of PayPal’s cryptocurrency offering outside the US since its launch there in October 2020.

Customers can fund purchases using their bank account or debit card. If they choose to sell cryptocurrency, funds are expected to be available quickly to spend. There are no fees to hold cryptocurrency in a PayPal account, though there are transaction charges and currency conversion fees for buying and selling.

The pandemic has accelerated digital change and innovation across all aspects of our lives
Jose Fernandez da Ponte, PayPal
Jose Fernandez da Ponte_400.jpg

“The pandemic has accelerated digital change and innovation across all aspects of our lives – including the digitization of money and greater consumer adoption of digital financial services,” states Jose Fernandez da Ponte, vice-president and general manager, blockchain, crypto and digital currencies at PayPal.

As the news hit, the price of bitcoin edged above $50,000 for the first time since its crash in May, putting it up 69% for the year to date.