PayPal Expands Crypto Support To UK As Bitcoin Rallies

The UK is next on the agenda for PayPal’s crypto plans.

The payments giant announced it would expand its cryptocurrency offering to UK customers on Monday, offering them access to buy, sell and hold digital assets. PayPal currently supports Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin.

PayPal already supports cryptocurrencies in the USA: it launched the service in October amid rising interest in Bitcoin and other crypto assets.

Since then, the firm has made it clear that it intends to double down on crypto technology. Unprecedented demand led to PayPal removing its waitlist and buying limits. PayPal CEO Dan Schulman said in December that he was “bullish” on digital currencies of all kinds before the firm went on to acquire crypto custody firm Curv.

In March, PayPal added support for crypto payments for all of its 29 million merchants. The firm also confirmed it would allow withdrawals to third-party wallets in May. In another major development, Schulman hinted that the firm might experiment with “interesting DeFi applications” in May.

PayPal is not the only global financial company to take an interest in the crypto space in recent months. Just this week, Visa announced that it had purchased a rare CryptoPunk NFT for $150,000. CryptoPunks is arguably the most prized NFT collection on Ethereum – it features a set of 10,000 algorithmically generated pixel art characters that live immutably on the blockchain.

News of Visa’s purchase quickly spread across the crypto community and wider press, leading the floor price of Punks to soar. At the time of writing, the cheapest ones go for about $240,000. The value of Punks and other NFTs has soared amid what some are calling “NFT summer” – a period of frenzy in the crypto market characterized by wild price speculation for avatars, generative art, and early NFT projects on Ethereum.

While much of the focus in the crypto space of late has centered on NFTs, the recent uptick in the market has also been reflected by the price action of the most popular digital asset, Bitcoin. The original crypto broke $50,000 early Monday just ahead of PayPal’s announcement of its latest steps to move towards adoption. It’s struggled to claim the psychological milestone as resistance this week, but many experts have maintained bullish sentiment in recent weeks. Bitcoin was last trading at $48,400, which puts it around 25% off record highs recorded in May. But more updates akin to PayPal’s and Visa’s from this week surface, it’s possible that Bitcoin could get the lift it needs to break its all-time high.

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