Bitcoin Price Climbs as PayPal Expands Crypto Trading Outside U.S.

Several major cryptocurrencies are up in price today after online payment giant PayPal announced it was launching a crypto trading service in the U.K.

In a press release on Monday morning, PayPal said U.K. customers would be able to buy, hold, and sell Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash.

It's the first time that the service has been expanded outside of the United States, where customers have already been able to trade cryptocurrency on PayPal since November last year.

Jose Fernandez da Ponte, vice president and general manager of blockchain, crypto and digital currencies at PayPal, said in a statement that the COVID pandemic had "accelerated digital change", and that the payment platform wanted to "meaningfully contribute to shaping the role digital currencies will play in the future of global finance and commerce."

PayPal's crypto trading service in the U.K. is set roll out this week and will be available for all eligible customers "within the next few weeks," the company said.

Following the news, Bitcoin was up around 3 percent on the day and up around 6.2 percent over the past seven days, bringing its price to $50,200 as of 9:15 a.m. EDT. The token's market cap was $942.9 billion.

Meanwhile, Ethereum was up over 3.3 percent to $3,335 at the same time. Other well-known cryptocurrencies were up even more.

Cardano was up around 10.4 percent on the day to $2.83 and up around 30 percent over the past seven days, while Binance Coin was up around 11 percent to $500.

Despite their inclusion in PayPal's announcement, both Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash did not appear to move significantly on the news, up around two percent each.

Cryptocurrency prices are notoriously volatile and experts have previously warned Newsweek about the risks and dangers involved with trading them.

PayPal said launching the new service in the U.K. could help customers learn more about "opportunities and risks" associated with the technology.

Bitcoin's rise above the $50,000 mark on Monday marks the highest price point the cryptocurrency has reached in months.

The token reached its all-time-high of $64,863 on April 14 this year, according to CoinMarketCap data.

It then plummeted in price through May and continued on a downward trend through June and the first half of July, falling below $30,000 for a time.

The price of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have been affected by factors including announcements by influential billionaire Elon Musk and a crackdown on the technology in China.

PayPal logo
The PayPal app can be seen displayed on a mobile phone screen in this photo taken in Hong Kong in July 2018. The payment platform is expanding its cryptocurrency trading service to the U.K. Getty / S3studio