Cryptocurrency on PayPal - FAQs

What did PayPal announce around Crypto?
We announced that PayPal users in the U.S. can buy, sell and hold select Cryptocurrencies directly through PayPal using their Personal or Premier PayPal Cash/plus account. Users will be able to learn about Crypto, track crypto prices, all without leaving the PayPal app. We plan to introduce this service to Venmo in 2021. 
What is Cryptocurrency?
Cryptocurrency is a digital or virtual currency that is created by Cryptography. It is not physical and not issued by a central authority. It utilizes a decentralized network and works through a distributed ledger technology, known as a Blockchain.
What Cryptocurrencies does PayPal support?
Customers in the U.S. (except Hawaii) can buy, sell and hold four different Cryptocurrencies on PayPal: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash.

Will this be available globally? When are you planning on launching internationally?
At this time, buying and selling Crypto with PayPal is available in the U.S. (excluding Hawaii) and U.S. territories, and all trades must be executed in USD. We plan to expand this service to select global markets in the first half of 2021.
What is the difference between Cryptocurrencies?

  • Bitcoin: invented in 2009 by Satoshi Nakamoto, it is the largest Cryptocurrency by value.
  • Ethereum: also known as Ether, it is the 2nd largest Cryptocurrency by value. It is a decentralized Blockchain featuring smart contract functionality.
  • Bitcoin Cash: created in 2017, the group behind Bitcoin Cash say transaction times are faster than the original Bitcoin.
  • Litecoin: designed to be a future payment method and can be mined more quickly than Bitcoin - producing one new coin every 2.5 minutes (whereas Bitcoin produces one every 10 minutes).
Who can buy, sell, and hold Cryptocurrencies?
Customers in the U.S. (except Hawaii).
Do I need to sign up for anything?
If you have a Personal or Premier PayPal Cash/plus account all you need to do is confirm some account information during your first purchase. If you do not have a Personal or Premier PayPal Cash/plus account, you can apply for one during your first purchase.

If you use a linked bank account or debit card as a funding source to buy Crypto Assets, your bank may charge you its own fees, including overdraft fees or insufficient fund fees, if applicable. PayPal is not responsible for any fees that may be charged to you by your bank. More information on pricing and fees can be found on the PayPal Fees page, the PayPal Cash Long Form Disclosure and the PayPal Cash Plus Long Form Disclosure.
Are there any fees? [2021 and beyond]
PayPal's Crypto fees are from the spread (or margin) between the market price we receive from our trading service provider (Paxos) and the exchange rate between US dollars and the Crypto asset displayed to the user, and a transaction fee when buying or selling Crypto assets. At the time you buy or sell Crypto assets, we will disclose to you the applicable exchange rate and the amount of fees that you will be charged for that transaction.

The exchange rate may include an estimated spread of one-half of one percent (0.50%), provided, however, that the actual spread may be higher or lower based on market conditions. We will not separately calculate or disclose the spread we earn on each transaction. By using PayPal's Crypto services, you agree to pay all applicable exchange rates (including spread) and fees.

If you use a linked bank account or debit card as a funding source to buy Crypto Assets, your bank may charge you its own fees, including overdraft fees or insufficient fund fees, if applicable. PayPal is not responsible for any fees that may be charged to you by your bank. More information on pricing and fees can be found on the PayPal Fees page, the PayPal Cash Long Form Disclosure and the PayPal Cash Plus Long Form Disclosure.
I made a Cryptocurrency purchase in error - can I cancel or reverse it?
There isn't a way to cancel or reverse Cryptocurrency transactions.
Are Cryptocurrency purchases covered by PayPal Buyer Protection?
Cryptocurrency purchases are protected in the event unauthorized activity takes place.

Will PayPal cover losses from fraud on its Cryptocurrency service?
As part of PayPal's commitment to protecting its users, PayPal will not hold customers liable for Crypto purchases or sales made as a result of unauthorized activity in their PayPal account.

PayPal will not cover losses from Cryptocurrency price fluctuations and we recommend that customers make sure purchasing Crypto is right for their individual financial situations. Since Crypto purchases and sales aren't reversible, PayPal urges customers to do their research and make decisions carefully.
Will PayPal protect my Cryptocurrency?
PayPal works 24/7 to prevent theft and fraud. If you suspect fraudulent activity on your account, please contact customer service by visiting or call (888) 221-1161 immediately to report it, and we will review your account activity.
What we can't protect you from are losses that result from Cryptocurrency price fluctuations. Cryptocurrency is very volatile, and we suggest that you speak with a financial advisor or tax specialist to advise you.

I lost money on my Cryptocurrency purchase. What can I do?
We recommend you speak to a financial advisor as we are unable to offer financial advice.
Will I pay tax on Cryptocurrency profits?
For any tax advice, you would need to speak with a tax expert.
Why is there an exchange rate for Cryptocurrency?
Since Crypto is digital money, you're essentially swapping one currency for another when you buy and sell it. The exchange rate tells you how much Crypto or dollars you'll get in the swap and refreshes often because the value of Crypto is constantly changing.

Can I transfer Cryptocurrency into and out of PayPal?
Currently, you can only hold the Cryptocurrency that you buy on PayPal in your account. Additionally, the Cryptocurrency in your account cannot be transferred to other accounts on or off PayPal.
Will I get a private key for the Cryptocurrency I buy on PayPal?
You own the Cryptocurrency you buy on PayPal but will not be provided with a private key. In case you are wondering, a private key is a person's secret code to access and manage their Cryptocurrency. If lost, stolen, or even forgotten they can never get to their Cryptocurrency. If you can log in to your PayPal account, you will have access to Cryptocurrency balance you hold.
Where does the money go when I sell my Cryptocurrency?
The money goes directly to your PayPal Cash or PayPal Cash Plus balance where you can use it as you normally would.
How long does it take to receive money from selling Cryptocurrency?
Usually, the money you receive from selling Crypto will be available instantly in your PayPal Cash or PayPal Cash Plus balance. As with all PayPal transactions, Crypto sales are subject to review and could be delayed or stopped if there's an issue.

Do I need a PayPal account to use this Cryptocurrency service?
Yes. New users should sign up for a personal PayPal Cash or Cash Plus account by downloading the PayPal app or visiting Existing users will be asked to complete a brief, one-time Crypto-specific registration process before they can purchase Cryptocurrency.

Is there a maximum dollar amount for PayPal's Cryptocurrency service?
The maximum dollar amount for weekly Cryptocurrency purchases is $20,000. The maximum dollar amount for any single crypto purchase is also $20,000. The maximum dollar amount for purchases over a 12-month period is $50,000.
Will PayPal support peer-to-peer (P2P) Crypto trades?
Not at this time. PayPal only supports the purchase and sale of Cryptocurrency using your PayPal account. To complete P2P transactions with PayPal, all Crypto assets held with PayPal must be sold and thus converted into USD.
What funding methods can be used to buy Crypto?
Users can buy Crypto using their PayPal Cash or Cash Plus balance, or a PayPal-linked debit card or bank account.
Can I use a credit card to buy Crypto on PayPal?
No. Users can only fund Crypto purchases with their PayPal Cash or Cash Plus balance, or a PayPal-linked debit card or bank account.
Will the PayPal app track Crypto prices in real-time?
By default, users will be shown the change in Crypto market value over a 24-hour period using a line graph, with the option to toggle to view one week, one month, six-month, one year and the entire history of the selected Cryptocurrency. Users will be able to click on the timeline graph to view more specific values over time.
When I click to 'Buy' Crypto, will I be getting the current price displayed on the app?
Yes. The market value of the Cryptocurrency displayed when a user clicks 'Buy' will be the price you pay. That price will update every few seconds to reflect any change to the market value.
Once I click 'Buy', can I stop or reverse the transaction? Will you give me a refund?
Once purchased, Crypto bought using PayPal cannot be reversed. You must sell your Crypto assets to receive your money back, and PayPal will not cover any money lost due to price fluctuations.
Pricing of Crypto seems to vary based on which service I'm using. Why? Am I getting the best price with PayPal?
Crypto price variation is common across Crypto exchanges, and happens for a number of reasons:
  • Crypto trading volume at a large vs. a smaller exchange with less liquidity can impact price.
  • Pricing and fee structure at time of purchase is set by the exchange/service, which can also vary.
  • Price 'spreads' might impact the purchase price.
It's important to understand pricing before making any purchases, and we cannot guarantee our rate.
Can you explain the concept of a price 'spread'?
Price spreads are the difference between the highest buy order and the lowest sell order on any exchange. Every purchase or sale of Crypto occurs in a marketplace, and between two entities. The person buying wants the lowest price, and the person selling wants to get the highest price at any point. This creates a gap in their expectations, known as a spread.
How do spreads affect the market?
Depending on the situation spreads can lead to increased price volatility, and price variation amongst Crypto exchanges.
What can I do with any profits from Crypto?
Proceeds from the sale of Cryptocurrencies will be deposited in USD in your PayPal Cash or Cash Plus account, which can then be used like regular PayPal funds, or deposited into any PayPal-linked debit card or bank account.
Will PayPal provide me any documentation for tax reporting?
Yes. PayPal will allow users to view their prior activity, manage transaction disputes, and if required, generate tax forms for reporting earnings from the sale of Crypto.
Why can't I access my account everywhere?
Laws and regulations administered by the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) restrict services that can be provided by U.S. financial institutions to persons, including U.S. citizens and permanent residents, in specified sanctioned jurisdictions (Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria, and Crimea). Please know that when you're in these locations, you won't be able to access your account, meaning you won't be able to place trades or close out your positions. Log-in attempts from these locations may lead to an account restriction, in which case we'll only be able to un-restrict your account once we can confirm you're no longer present in a sanctioned jurisdiction.
Venmo Frequently Asked Questions

Can I buy Crypto through Venmo?
The service enabling our users to buy, hold and sell Cryptocurrency from the PayPal digital wallet will be available to PayPal account holders in the U.S. in the coming weeks and will expand to Venmo in the first half of 2021.
Can I use my Venmo account to access PayPal's Cryptocurrency service? When will I be able to use this service on Venmo?
No. Venmo users will need to sign up for a personal PayPal Cash or Cash Plus account to access PayPal's Crypto services. We expect to expand this service to Venmo in the first half of 2021.