PayPal to halt UK crypto sales amid tighter regulation

PayPal will stop allowing UK customers to purchase cryptocurrencies through its platform starting October as it works to comply with imminent tighter rules on crypto promotions.

The company said it will “temporarily pause” the ability for UK users to buy crypto from October 1st until early 2024 as it takes steps to satisfy new regulations coming into effect on October 8th.

Britain’s financial regulator is implementing stricter standards around how crypto can be marketed to consumers, including mandating risk warnings and banning “refer-a-friend” bonuses. PayPal aims to relaunch crypto services once it adapts to meet the new requirements.

“PayPal consistently works closely with regulators around the world to adhere to applicable rules and markets we operate in,” the company said in an email to customers. The halt was first reported by crypto media outlets.

The clampdown comes as authorities globally seek to regulate crypto assets after the collapse of firms like FTX resulted in large investor losses last year. While prices have recovered in 2023, increased oversight is expected.

PayPal originally launched crypto trading for UK users in 2021 when demand surged. But bitcoin remains around 50% below its November 2021 peak despite bouncing back 76% so far this year.

Earlier in August, PayPal’s shares jumped after it unveiled a new US dollar-pegged stablecoin cryptocurrency. The company is looking to benefit from mainstream adoption of digital assets and blockchain technology over the long term.