Another day, another BIG DEAL! Coinbase, one of the biggest global bitcoin exchanges, just struck a rare deal for its UK subsidiary to be able to open a bank account with Barclays. Why is it a big deal? It will allow UK clients of Coinbase to buy and sell cryptocurrencies with far less hassle. Almost all global banks have shied away from doing business with firms that handle bitcoin and other digital coins for fear they would be caught up in……well, very bad things (money laundering, etc). Guess they realized “bad actors” are not just playing in the crypto sandbox and they can handle it. This deal will certainly eliminate a whole lot of middle steps that slowed crypto transactions. And, AND it will be the start of other “hookups” for other exchanges and other banks. Oh yeah, it is happening in the UK. Wake up U.S and smell the future.
(Bill Taylor/Managing Editor)
“LONDON (Reuters) – One of the biggest bitcoin exchanges has struck a rare deal which will allow it to open a bank account with Britain’s Barclays (BARC.L), making it easier for UK customers of the exchange to buy and sell cryptocurrencies, the UK boss of the exchange said on Wednesday.
Large global banks have been reluctant to do business with companies that handle bitcoin and other digital coins because of concerns they are used by criminals to launder money and that regulators will soon crack down on them.
San Francisco-based exchange, Coinbase, said its UK subsidiary was the first to be granted an e-money license by the UK’s financial watchdog, a precursor to getting the banking relationship with Barclays.
The Barclays account will make it easier for British customers. Previously, they had to transfer pounds into euros and go through an Estonian bank.
“Having domestic GBP payments with Barclays reduces the cost, improves the customer experience…and makes the transaction faster,” said Zeeshan Feroz, Coinbase’s UK CEO.
The UK is the largest market for Coinbase in Europe, and the exchange said its customer base in the region was growing at twice the rate of elsewhere.