14 Mar 2018
Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase said it has managed to open a bank account with Barclays Bank to process transactions for its customers, in what it says is a first for the crypto market.
The development comes at a time when most major British banks are treading cautiously with servicing the cryptocurrency industry.
In recent months Lloyd’s Bank announced it was banning its clients from using their credit cards to buy cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, and various banking figures have warned about the price volatility and risks associated with digital currenecies.
Coinbase also announced that it would be joining the UK’s Faster Payments Scheme (FPS) for its transactions, which is set to simplify topping up and withdrawing money for its customers.
“By replacing SEPA for UK customers, Faster Payments will offer a familiar payment experience and is supported by all major UK banks. UK customers will benefit from faster, safer and seamless bank transfers,” said Coinbase CEO Zeeshan Feroz.
The firm is expected to start with a pilot, and in the coming weeks begin rolling out to all UK customers.
The crypto exchange also said it has been granted an e-money licence by British watchdog the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
The FCA license will enable its e-money platform to have safeguards and operational standards on par with regulated financial institutions, Feroz said.
“An example of this is segregation of client funds, where all customer fiat balances will be separated from Coinbase’s funds and kept in separate bank accounts.”
He added that since it began operating its services in the 2104, seen the crypto space has grown “significantly.”
“The EU grew twice as fast as any of our other markets in 2017, and the UK continues to be our largest market here.
“In order to meet this increasing demand we plan to grow our London team 8x by the end of this year,” he added.
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