PayPal Temporarily Pauses Crypto Buying Services in the U.K.

PayPal Temporarily Pauses Crypto Buying Services in the U.K.

PayPal recently sent an email to select users notifying them of the temporary suspension of its crypto buying services in the U.K. The service will be paused from October 1, 2023, and is expected to resume in early 2024. While users won’t be able to buy cryptocurrencies during this period, they can still hold and sell their existing assets. However, it is unclear whether users will have the option to transfer their cryptocurrencies to other wallets or exchanges outside the PayPal platform. The company emphasized that users’ crypto assets are safe and that holding them will not incur any charges. Although PayPal apologized for the inconvenience caused, it did not provide specific details regarding the new rules from the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) that prompted this suspension.

The primary reason cited by PayPal for the temporary pause in its U.K. crypto buying services is the need to implement additional steps to comply with the new rules introduced by the FCA. While the email did not specify which rules exactly are of concern, one significant regulation set to come into effect in September 2023 is the Crypto Travel Rule. This rule requires crypto companies to collect information about parties involved in transactions. However, it should be noted that PayPal’s service change in October does not directly align with this deadline. The FCA also recently introduced promotional rules that aim to regulate how crypto can be advertised or promoted to potential investors, but these rules will only be effective from October onwards. Therefore, it remains unclear which specific requirements mentioned in PayPal’s email the FCA rules correspond to.

The temporary suspension of PayPal’s crypto services in the U.K. is particularly significant considering the company’s expansion of its crypto offerings in the United States. While U.K. users will have limited access to crypto services, PayPal introduced its own USD stablecoin on August 7 in the U.S. market. Additionally, there have been suggestions that this stablecoin could see extensive use in decentralized finance (DeFi). Furthermore, reports indicate that PayPal is consolidating its features into a “Cryptocurrency Hub” in the U.S., indicating its commitment to expanding its crypto-related services and products.

PayPal’s decision to temporarily halt crypto buying services in the U.K. has raised questions and concerns among users. The company attributes this pause to the implementation of new rules from the FCA, but the specific rules mentioned remain vague. While users can still hold and sell their crypto assets during this period, the ability to transfer to external wallets or exchanges outside of PayPal is yet to be confirmed. The disparity between the U.K. and U.S. services is also noteworthy, with PayPal actively expanding its crypto offerings in the United States while temporarily scaling back in the U.K. It remains to be seen how the temporary suspension will impact PayPal’s crypto business in the U.K. and whether it will affect user trust and adoption of its services moving forward.


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