Coinbase has revealed that it has obtained a bank account with major U.K-based multinational financial services company, Barclays. The partnership comprises the first agreement reached between a leading U.K bank and a cryptocurrency exchange.
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Coinbase Opens Account With Barclays
The opening of an account with Barclays has been hailed as a major accomplishment by Coinbase, who have described the deal as comprising the first partnership between a major U.K bank and a cryptocurrency exchange.
The U.K chief executive officer of Coinbase, Zeeshan Feroz, stated that “Having domestic GBP payments with Barclays reduces the cost, improves the customer experience…and makes the transaction faster,” adding “We believe that this is an important step towards our commitment to making cryptocurrency accessible to everyone.”
Mr. Feroz has indicated that coming to an agreement with a UK bank has been a lengthy process, with Barclays wishing to see evidence of robust anti-money laundering processes. “It’s a completely brand new industry. There’s a lot of understanding and risk management that’s needed,” Mr. Feroz said.
Coinbase Simplifies Fiat Deposits and Withdrawals for U.K Customers
The announcement comes shortly after Coinbase was granted an e-money license by the UK Financial Conduct Authority. The license grants Coinbase access to the Faster Payments Scheme, which will streamline the processing withdrawing and depositing fiat currency with Coinbase for the company’s U.K customers.
Mr. Feroz has indicated that Coinbase will gradually introduce the new banking services to U.K traders, stating that “U.K. customers will benefit from faster, safer and seamless bank transfers. We will start with a pilot, giving a small number of institutional users access to Faster Payments. In the coming weeks, we will begin rolling out to all U.K. customers, making the Coinbase experience increasingly easier.”
Whilst the partnership signals growing acceptance of leading cryptocurrency companies on the part of mainstream banking institutions in the U.K, the announcement comes weeks after Britain’s Treasury Select Committee revealed it would launch an inquiry into cryptocurrencies and distributed ledger technologies. The chair of the Treasury Committee, Nicky Morgan, stated that “People are becoming increasingly aware of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, but they may not be aware that they are currently unregulated in the UK, and that there is no protection for individual investors.”
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