PayPal Granted FCA License for UK Crypto Services, With Certain Restrictions

The renowned global payment giant, PayPal, has received the green light from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to provide cryptocurrency services within the United Kingdom.

The FCA’s official data reveals that as of October 31, 2023, PayPal has been formally registered to offer specific crypto asset services in the UK. However, this approval comes with stipulated requirements and restrictions on the scope of financial activities it can conduct.

According to the FCA register, PayPal is subject to limitations, which encompass the suspension of onboarding new customers and constraining existing customers to retaining and selling crypto assets exclusively. Moreover, the company is prohibited from broadening its existing range of crypto-related offerings.

This prohibition extends to various crypto-related services, including but not limited to crypto exchanges, participation in initial coin offerings, staking, peer-to-peer trading, and decentralized finance functions such as lending and borrowing.

PayPal’s inclusion in the FCA’s list makes it the fourth entity to secure crypto registration in 2023, following in the footsteps of Interactive Brokers, Bitstamp, and Komainu. This development comes shortly after PayPal briefly halted its U.K. customers’ ability to purchase cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin in early October. The company had previously announced its commitment to adhering to new regulatory measures in the country.

The United Kingdom has emerged as a prominent player in the cryptocurrency arena, as evidenced by a report from blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis in October 2023, which identified the UK as the leading country in Central, Northern, and Western Europe in terms of raw cryptocurrency transaction volume. Another study by the crypto tax platform Recap had earlier labeled London as the world’s most crypto-ready city for businesses in February 2023.