Weeks after PayPal announced the first international expansion of its cryptocurrency offering outside of the United States to the UK for its customers to buy, hold and sell digital currencies, the company has now completed the launch for all eligible PayPal account holders. Customers will be able to choose from four coins — Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash through their PayPal account and view real-time crypto prices, find answers for commonly asked questions, and learn about crypto opportunities and risks. “With a trusted brand like PayPal now making an entry, access, knowledge, and the exploration of cryptocurrency has the potential to become mainstream in the UK,” PayPal said.
“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…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,” said Jose Fernandez da Ponte, Vice President and General Manager, Blockchain, Crypto and Digital Currencies, PayPal in a statement. Users will be able to buy as little as £1 of cryptocurrency through PayPal.
PayPal said on its website that cryptocurrency sales can be taxable and the gains or losses from cryptocurrency sales may be subject to capital gains tax or income tax. The company’s cryptocurrency service will not be regulated by the UK Financial Conduct Authority or the Luxembourg Commission de Surveillance Du Secteur Financier. “Therefore, if something goes wrong with the cryptocurrency, you won’t be able to use the UK Financial Ombudsman Service, the European Consumer Center or have the protection of any UK or Luxembourg Financial Services Compensation Scheme,” the company added.
PayPal co-founder and one of Silicon Valley’s prominent venture capital investors Peter Thiel earlier this year had warned that Bitcoin might serve as a ‘Chinese financial weapon’ that could pose a threat to the United States. During a virtual seminar held by the US-based non-profit organization Richard Nixon Foundation, Thiel said “Even though I’m a pro-crypto, pro-Bitcoin maximalist person, I do wonder whether if at this point Bitcoin should also be thought of in part as a Chinese financial weapon against the U.S where it threatens fiat money, but it especially threatens the US dollar and China wants to do things to weaken it.”