PayPal to Suspend UK Crypto Purchases

PayPal has informed a select group of its users that starting from October 1, 2023, it will temporarily cease cryptocurrency purchasing services in the UK. This move comes in response to upcoming regulatory changes by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

The company assured its users that while buying new cryptocurrencies will be halted, they can still hold and sell their existing holdings on the platform.

Directly from the company’s communication: “Your crypto remains safe. You can keep it on our platform at no charge. You can also sell your crypto at any time,” reassuring its user base during the suspension period.

Why the Sudden Pause?

The UK Financial Conduct Authority is in the process of introducing new regulations concerning cryptocurrencies. Although PayPal hasn’t specified which exact rule triggered this decision, two significant developments from the FCA are slated around the same time.

Firstly, there’s the Crypto Travel Rule set to be enforced in September 2023, obligating crypto businesses to collect transaction details.

Secondly, new promotional rules will kick in from October, focusing on how crypto services are advertised to prospective investors. These rules will include provisions such as a “cooling-off period” for novice buyers and the removal of “refer a friend” bonuses.


Contrasting Moves: UK and US<

While UK users face this temporary setback, it’s intriguing to note PayPal’s contrasting actions in the US market. The company recently unveiled its own USD stablecoin, hinting at its potential wide-scale use in Decentralised Finance (DeFi).

There are also murmurs about PayPal consolidating its features into a dedicated “Cryptocurrency Hub” for its users.

Lucy Ingham, from FXC Intelligence, spoke on this distinction, stating that PayPal launching its stablecoin primarily in the US shows the company’s focus on expanding its business there.

But she also mentioned, “plans to resume crypto purchases in the UK next year suggests that it remains confident in the long-term potential of the market”.

What This Means for the Crypto World in the UK

The move by PayPal is indicative of the cautious approach companies are adopting in light of regulatory changes in the UK.

Some critics argue that such regulations might push the crypto sector offshore. There’s also a belief that these measures, while causing short-term disruptions, are necessary for the industry’s long-term health.

Lucy Ingham agrees with this narrative. She said, “they are essential for the long-term health of an industry that has in the past been plagued by fraud, poor conduct and lax consumer protections.”

For now, UK PayPal users will need to look at alternate avenues for their crypto transactions, with the hope that services will resume in the near future.