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PayPal’s interest in taking crypto mainstream lies in shadow of regulated exchanges

23.08.2021

PayPal’s move into the UK shows further mainstream use of crypto and highlights the lead made by regulated exchanges, yet lies in the shadow of multi-faceted regulated exchanges which can offer access to all cryptocurrencies including rapidly evolving new ones.

Today appears, on the face of it, to be the day that many have been waiting for. It’s the day when PayPal begins to offer the holding, buying and selling of four major cryptocurrencies in the United Kingdom, following on from its US pilot which begun last year.

It was clear a few months ago when PayPal, along with Visa, invested in Blockchain Capital with a combined investment value of $300 million that the company was going big on crypto.

That particular investment, along with its US pilot, were sure signs that PayPal, which interestingly was founded by Elon Musk, who is today a fully fledged cryptocurrency influencer, was preparing to take its global audiences into cryptocurrency as a mainstream underlying asset and method of payment.

PayPal has come a long way since its origins as an electronic payment processor for auction marketplace eBay, and is now one of the world’s most-used electronic payment channels.

Had it not embraced cryptocurrency, it would have been left behind by regulated cryptocurrency exchanges and electronic brokerages which lead the way in the market for fiat on-ramps and off-ramps, as the need for accessibility to the cryptocurrency ecosystem in all of its forms via regulated payment processors is increasing greatly.

PayPal faces direct competition from specialist cryptocurrency exchanges which already have Electronic Money Licenses (EMI) which serve as a means of approaching blockchain functionality such as smart contracts via cryptocurrency exchanges, hence it is now a necessity to go down this route.

At the time at which PayPal joined Visa in the round of investment in Blockchain Capital, PayPal has stated that part of the rationale behind its investment in this particular fund coincides with the firm’s commitment toward making cryptocurrency more accessible and secure, whilst Visa’s executive team considers that their company is focused toward improving all methods by which money is moved, whether on the Visa network or not.

Such a big deal was this move that even PayPal’s Dan Schulman spoke in person to the Financial Times in the UK about it and how he sees this a a way of moving PayPal forward.

PayPal has been gradually adopting services in cryptocurrency, and its foray into the UK market for holding and selling cryptocurrencies across to the other side of the pond, and today’s move which enables UK-based users to buy, hold and sell Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash via their PayPal account is a clear reaction to refined and sophisticated regulated crypto services. This is being held out as huge news, yet it doesn’t really show the real contenders and leaders in that market.

The real leaders can offer full facilities, under a regulated framework, to all cryptocurrency assets and will look toward full services including EMI, exchange and multilateral trading facilities.

PayPal has been gradually adding to its cryptocurrency remit, having begun in November last year when it introduced the ability to buy and sell cryptocurrencies in the United States. PayPal confirmed that its customers can buy as little as £1 of cryptocurrency, and while there are no fees to hold the currency, users will have to pay transaction and currency conversion fees.

Today’s move into cryptocurrency holding, buying and selling in the UK market has highlighted the lead made by regulated cryptocurrency exchanges such as CoinMetro in vital markets with developed financial services ecosystems.

It is only via the operation of high quality, multi-faceted regulated cryptocurrency exchanges which can operate as a regulated payment provider, exchange, fiat on-ramp and can provide full access to blockchain-related services as well as new, up and coming cryptocurrencies such as KDA that the cryptocurrency world can flourish.

Regulated exchanges that offer staking and bonding – effectively the ability to participate in generating the new world of cryptocurrency – will always be out in front, leading the charge toward a fully decentralized financial future.