PayPal, the American company, has gained popularity as an app used to send, receive and access money securely. With their PayPal Cash balance, users can send money to anyone through email. Many pressed for cryptocurrency features to be added to the already large payment platform until PayPal announced a partnership with the digital currency in 2014 for stores to accept bitcoin. With pressure to maintain market share, Paypal introduced the option for users in the United States to buy, sell and hold cryptocurrencies directly through their platform in 2020.
But, the platform has quickly evolved since then. So, what does it mean for those who want to buy bitcoin in Europe?
The platform stated that users must conduct all trades in USD as of right now, although the intention is to expand to global markets this year.
Why Can We Expect PayPal To Go Global?
We can still expect that Paypal will add options to buy and sell bitcoin in Europe very soon, especially since many countries in the European Union have openly accepted the digital currency and released guidelines for taxation. As of October 2015, the EU ruled that buying and selling digital currencies is exempt from value-added taxes (VAT) in all European Union member states. Other countries like Germany have stated they are open to bitcoin but will tax it differently than their local currency. The EU has also put other regulations into place, including the EU’s Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (5AMLD), which came into effect in January 2020. 5AMLD puts all cryptocurrency-fiat exchanges under anti-money laundering legislation.
What does this mean for users?
All exchanges that operate in the EU will require customers to complete KYC, (know your customer) requirements before purchasing. The EU does not take cybercrime lightly either, since adding it to the 6AMLD. The carefully outlined procedures suggest that these countries have taken the time to consider the impacts of digital currency and how citizens may use the digital coins in combination with existing currencies. There is no reason for PayPal to pull back on its existing strategy with no foreseen bans in these areas.
Paypal for Europe
In the United States, the platform allows any personal or premier PayPal Cash customers to use the cryptocurrency features. Business accounts are still not offered this feature, but with the introduction of global markets, this feature might change as well. European users can still use the same learning features as those in America to understand the basics.
As for coin availability, the platform will likely begin with bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash. Although a date for this update is yet to be confirmed, PayPal has made other advancements this year that show cryptocurrency is still a prominent strategy.
In a recent press release, PayPal announced that customers in the U.S. could now make purchases of up to $100,000 so customers could have more flexibility. For those in the U.S., $100,000 is a significant increase from the previous $20,000 limit.
How to purchase bitcoin in Europe
Although users are still awaiting new PayPal features, there are still several methods users can purchase bitcoin.
Peer to peer exchange
First and foremost, users can purchase from any other party on a peer-to-peer network, as long as the other user agrees to the conditions of the agreement. Since borders do not limit bitcoin, international payments between users occur almost instantly.
Likely, the more common method for purchasing cryptocurrency is through a centralized or decentralized exchange. An exchange is a platform that cryptocurrency investors can use to buy and sell cryptocurrency at current market prices. Cash can be deposited through e-transfer or direct deposit and held as a balance on the account until a user is ready to make a purchase. Some of these platforms that support European customers include:
CoinSmart: A platform that supports Euro trading pairs and has a mobile application that allows users to make a purchase with a single click. Supported coins currently include bitcoin, Litecoin, Cardano, Stellar, XRP, and EOS.
Kriptomat: The Kriptomat platform operates in many popular European languages, including German, Italian, Slovenian, Greek, Polish, and Czech. Users can purchase bitcoins, Ethereum, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, Tron, Iota, Stella, and Litecoin.
Coinbase: Users can access Coinbase in over 100 countries, including many in Europe, such as Italy, Poland, and Portugal. Although the platform is well-known, it is often associated with high fees and a lack of user control over their wallet keys.
If you decide to go this route, it is important to note that no one crypto exchange will work the best for everyone. Selections should be made best on the investor’s goals and what features matter most to them – whether it is low fees, an easy user experience, or the availability of coins other than bitcoin.