PayPal, the global payment giant, has obtained approval from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to provide crypto services in the United Kingdom. The FCA officially licensed PayPal on Oct. 31, 2023, marking a crucial milestone for the company’s expansion into the crypto space.
Registration and Restrictions
According to the official FCA data, PayPal’s registration allows it to engage in “certain crypto asset activities” in the UK, with the registration date listed as Oct. 31, 2023. However, the FCA has imposed specific requirements and restrictions on the financial services activities that PayPal can undertake.
Notably, the FCA register outlines these restrictions. They include measures such as ceasing the on-boarding of new customers and limiting existing customers to hold and sell functionality. The document emphasizes that PayPal is prohibited from expanding its current offering in crypto assets.
This restriction encompasses various activities, such as crypto exchange services, participation in initial coin offerings, staking, peer-to-peer exchange, and decentralized finance activities like lending and borrowing.
Fourth FCA Crypto Registration in 2023
Notably, PayPal’s achievement of FCA’s crypto registration makes it the fourth firm to receive such approval in 2023. The others are Interactive Brokers, Bitstamp, and Komainu. This regulatory milestone comes on the heels of PayPal briefly pausing the ability for its U.K. customers to buy cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin in early October.
UK’s Growing Crypto Economy
Furthermore, the United Kingdom has emerged as a prominent player in the global cryptocurrency economy. According to a report by blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis in October 2023, the UK leads in terms of raw transaction volume in Central, Northern, and Western Europe.
Additionally, a study by the crypto tax platform Recap identified London as the world’s most crypto-ready city for business in February 2023.