American digital payments company PayPal has agreed to buy Israeli startup Curv, which provides cloud-based infrastructure for digital asset security.

The deal, whose financial details have not been disclosed, is expected to close in the first half of the year.

PayPal is looking to bolster its initiatives to support cryptocurrencies and digital assets with the acquisition of Curv.

PayPal blockchain, crypto, and digital currencies vice president and general manager Jose Fernandez da Ponte said: “The acquisition of Curv is part of our effort to invest in the talent and technology to realise our vision for a more inclusive financial system.

“During our conversations with Curv’s team, we’ve been impressed by their technical talent, entrepreneurial spirit, and the thinking behind the technology they’ve built in the last few years. We’re excited to welcome the Curv team to PayPal.”

Last October, PayPal announced its commitment to help shape the role that digital currencies will play in the future of financial services and commerce.

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It entered the cryptocurrency space at the end of last year, allowing its customers to use Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for making purchases at 26 million merchants on its network.

Last month, it was reported that PayPal is gearing up to make its crypto products available in the UK in a few months’ time.

The company recently launched a business unit focused on blockchain, crypto and digital currencies. Curv, which was established in 2018 by CEO Itay Malinger and CTO Dan Yadlin, will be part of this newly formed group.

Commenting on the deal, Curv Malinger added: “As a pioneer in security infrastructure for digital assets, Curv is proud to be recognised as an innovator and trusted partner to leading financial institutions around the world.

“Now, as the adoption of digital assets accelerates, we feel there’s no better home than PayPal to continue our journey of innovation. We’re excited to join PayPal in expanding the role these assets play in the global economy.”

Meanwhile, PayPal reportedly took 100% ownership of a Chinese payment company GoPay, becoming the first foreign payments operator in China to do so.