PayPal has announced that customers in the United Kingdom will be able to buy, sell, and hold bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
The launch, which marks the first international expansion of PayPal’s cryptocurrency services outside of the United States, could spur further mainstream adoption of the new asset class.
In the midst of rising cryptocurrency prices, more established financial institutions have begun to offer their clients, both consumers, and institutions, access to digital assets.
The San Jose, California-based company is one of the largest mainstream financial companies to provide consumers with access to cryptocurrencies, with over 403 million active accounts worldwide.
PayPal began buying and selling cryptocurrency in the United States earlier this year, later allowing customers to use their digital coin holdings to shop at the millions of merchants on its networks.
The company hoped that its entry into the new asset class would increase the global adoption of virtual coins and prepare its network for new digital currencies developed by corporations and central banks.
“We are committed to continuing to work 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, PayPal’s vice president, and general manager for blockchain, crypto, and digital currencies.
PayPal’s service in the UK will compete with established cryptocurrency exchanges such as Coinbase, as well as fintech startups such as Revolut.
Customers will be able to purchase bitcoin, ether, litecoin, and bitcoin cash using their PayPal wallets, either online or via the mobile app.