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News/PayPal Scrutinized by SEC Over PYUSD Stablecoin; Challenging UK Crypto Landscape

PayPal Scrutinized by SEC Over PYUSD Stablecoin; Challenging UK Crypto Landscape

Van Thanh Le

Nov 2 2023

9 months ago3 minutes read
Animated cubic robot actively engaging with cryptocurrency symbols in a digital space.

SEC Probes PayPal's PYUSD Stablecoin

On November 1, 2023, PayPal publicly confirmed that it has fallen under the investigatory lens of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). This examination specifically zeroes in on PayPal's newly launched stablecoin, PYUSD

Following a subpoena issued by the SEC's Division of Enforcement compelling the production of sundry documents related to the token, PayPal pledged unequivocal cooperation, underscoring its unflinching commitment towards regulatory conformity and transparency in all its operations.


The PYUSD stablecoin made its entry into the crypto stage in August courtesy of a collaborative partnership with Paxos. Its launch was underpinned by the assurance of full regulation and backing, situating it in the upper echelons of the cryptocurrency landscape. 

However, this distinction failed to produce significant interest. The adoption of PYUSD has been slow, with the total supply barely surpassing the 159 million token benchmark, as per recent data.

The SEC's unabridged history of being stringent and even bowdlerizing towards the crypto industry puts into perspective potential implications of this inquiry. 

A prime example of the SEC's tough stance can be witnessed in its handling of Binance's stablecoin, BUSD. The financial watchdog branded BUSD as an unregistered security, triggering an avalanche of legal intricacies and escalating regulatory interference.

PayPal’s FCA-Sanctioned UK Crypto Activity Stifled

Overseas, PayPal's UK chapter clinched a successful registration with the UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for specific crypto asset activities. Effective from October 31, the authorization came coupled with a plethora of stringent conditions, stiffening the company's propensity to accommodate new crypto customers and extend its complement of services.

PayPal's existing clientele are exclusively limited to holding or selling their current token horde. They have been explicitly prohibited from increasing their digital asset holdings by purchasing additional tokens. 

Moreover, the company stands restricted from participating in a variety of crypto-related endeavors that include setting up or operating crypto ATMs, initiating or taking part in Initial Coin Offerings (ICO), providing staking services or becoming involved in the intricate web of decentralized finance (DeFi) activities.

Digital illustration capturing PayPal’s engagement with cryptocurrencies.webp

Previously, in August, PayPal UK chose to temporarily halt new crypto purchases, citing the omnipresence of the FCA's heavy-handed regulations as the reason. This interim moratorium is projected to remain in force till 2024, considerably dampening the cryptocurrency climate in the UK. 

In the wider context, all these edicts were passed against the backdrop of imminent proposals that the UK Treasury plans to present regarding the future regulation of crypto asset activities. The overriding objective of these imminent regulations is to integrate a good share of crypto activities into part of the existing regulatory apparatus for mainstream financial services. 

Final Thoughts

Split view illustration depicting PayPal’s resilience in a regulatory storm and the calm potential of the cryptocurrency market.webp

This comprehensive breakdown illuminates PayPal’s bold ingress into the crypto realm and the regulatory hurdles it encounters. The SEC inquiry into PYUSD and the FCA imposed restrictions on PayPal UK underscore the convoluted and dynamic regulatory contours of the crypto landscape. 

Despite the meticulous obstacles, PayPal’s resolve to adhere and conform to regulatory demands echoes its dedication to uphold transparency and integrity in its crypto exploits. However, the sluggish embrace of PYUSD and the operational restrictions in the UK manifest the daunting challenges corporeal financial entities face within the crypto enclave. 

The call for clear, invariant regulatory guidelines rings louder to steer these challenges and foster novelty while guaranteeing customer protection and market integrity.


1. What documents has the SEC requested from PayPal regarding the PYUSD stablecoin?

The SEC has subpoenaed PayPal for several documents related to the PSYUSD stablecoin. The exact nature of these documents remains unspecified. 

2. How many PYUSD tokens have been adopted since their launch?

Till date, approximately 159 million PYUSD tokens are in circulation, indicating slower adoption than initially expected. 

3. What restrictions does the FCA license impose on PayPal's UK crypto-related activities?

The FCA's registration limits PayPal from acquiring new crypto clients, offering additional services, and participating in crypto-linked undertakings like operating crypto ATMs or entering DeFi activities.

4. When can we expect PayPal to resume crypto purchases in the UK?

Given the current regulations, PayPal's suspension of crypto purchases in the UK is projected to last until 2024.

5. How is PayPal handling regulatory scrutiny from bodies like SEC and FCA?

PayPal has demonstrated its commitment to regulatory compliance, promising to fully cooperate with the SEC and FCA while adhering to the imposed restrictions, highlighting its dedication to maintain transparency and integrity in its crypto endeavors. 

This article has been refined and enhanced by ChatGPT.

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