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PayPal Gets Approval to Offer Crypto-Asset Activities in UK

PayPal received approval from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) on Tuesday (Oct. 31) to offer crypto-asset activities in the United Kingdom.

The FCA has implemented stricter rules on marketing crypto assets, causing issues for some companies, Reuters reported Wednesday (Nov. 1). Those wishing to offer crypto assets in the U.K. must demonstrate sufficient safeguards against money laundering and financing terrorism.

PayPal initially launched its crypto buying and selling services in 2021 but temporarily paused the ability for U.K. customers to buy crypto assets starting from Oct. 1, according to the report. However, the company expects to resume these services in early 2024.

Despite the pause, PayPal has been approved by the FCA as an authorized electronic money institution, consumer credit firm and a registered cryptoasset business, the report said.

As a result of these approvals, PayPal’s U.K. customers will be transferred to a new entity based in Britain from PayPal Europe, reflecting the U.K.’s departure from the European Union (EU), per the report. PayPal assured its customers that it will continue to offer the same products and services in the U.K.

PayPal announced in August that it would place a temporary halt on cryptocurrency sales for U.K. customers starting from October as it worked to comply with new regulations on crypto promotions set by the FCA.

A PayPal spokesperson told PYMNTS on Aug. 16: “PayPal customers who currently hold crypto can keep it on our platform at no charge and are also able to sell their currency at any time. We remain deeply committed to our compliance obligations, and PayPal works closely with regulators around the world to adhere to applicable rules and regulations in the markets in which we operate.”

The FCA unveiled what it calls “tough rules” for crypto marketing on June 8, saying that companies marketing crypto assets to consumers in the U.K. would need to introduce a “cooling-off” period for new investors and would be banned from offering “refer a friend” bonuses.

PayPal initially expanded its cryptocurrency trading to users in the U.K. in August 2021 by allowing them to buy and sell bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash using their PayPal account on a desktop or via the mobile app.