PayPal Holdings Inc said on Monday that clients in the United Kingdom will be able to purchase, sell, and hold bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies beginning this week.
The launch, which marks the first worldwide expansion of PayPal’s cryptocurrency services outside of the United States, might spur wider popular use of the new asset class.
The San Jose, California-based company is one of the largest mainstream financial companies to provide people with access to cryptocurrencies, with over 403 million active accounts worldwide.
PayPal began buying and selling cryptocurrencies in the United States earlier this year, eventually allowing clients to utilize their digital coin holdings to purchase at the millions of businesses on its network.
The company thought that its entry into the new asset class will increase the global adoption of virtual coins and prepare its network for future digital currencies launched by corporations and central banks.
“We are committed to continuing to collaborate closely with regulators in the UK and around the world to give our support—and to actively contribute to shaping the role.”
“Digital currencies will play an important role in the future of global finance and trade,” said Jose Fernandez da Ponte, PayPal’s vice president, and general manager for blockchain, crypto, and digital currencies, in a statement.
PayPal’s service will compete in the UK with major cryptocurrency exchanges such as Coinbase Global Inc, as well as fintech startups such as Revolut.
Customers will be able to purchase bitcoin, ether, litecoin, and bitcoin cash using their PayPal wallets, either online or via the mobile app.
In the midst of growing cryptocurrency values, more conventional financial institutions have begun to offer their clients, both consumers, and institutions, access to digital assets.