On Wednesday March 14th 2018, Coinbase managed to obtain a bank account with Barclays (a UK Lender). The new partnership with the UK bank will see Coinbase’s British customers benefit the most as the two entities set a record for establishing the first ever partnership between a world-leading cryptocurrency exchange, wallet and trading platform and a UK Bank.
Since the boom of cryptocurrencies, banks and lenders in the UK have watched the action unfold from a distance while keeping themselves from being involved in the booming digital asset and virtual money world. Major reasons for this have been as a result of the violent volatility and tainted reputation that most cryptocoins share.
With over 12 million users on its platform, Coinbase was proud to announce that it had also obtained a license from the UK Financial Conduct Authority for e-money, while also mentioning support from the Faster Payment Scheme.
Rising Regulator Concerns
The move is seen as a plus to the crypto community, as UK regulators and financial authorities have previously issued warnings concerning cryptocurrencies. The Governor of Bank of England (Mark Carney) for instance, has mentioned that the crypto market is in a state of ‘speculative mania’ and called for more regulation of the digital assets.
Furthermore, last month saw a group of legislators launch an inquiry that would look into the risk involved in investing in cryptocurrencies, especially for government entities, businesses, and individual investors.
If reports by CNBC are anything to go by, Barclays has been championing financial technology since as early as last year in June. In fact, the company’s UK CEO is reported to have encouraged the inclusivity of cryptocurrencies into the mainstream financial world.
Benefits Users Are Set to Enjoy
For British customers, the most obvious benefit from the partnership between Coinbase and Barclays will be the improved speed and simplicity of payment processes. Users will be able to withdraw and top up to and from Coinbase with ease without having to wait for days before clearing transactions, as was the case previously with Estonian Bank.
According to Zeeshan Feroz, the CEO of Coinbase in the UK,
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
Furthermore, the e-license that Coinbase acquired from the FCA will enable top-ups and withdrawals in pounds while also extending to 23 other countries within the EU.
Double Market Growth in the EU
Feroz further added that in 2017 alone, the EU market doubled compared with other markets, indicating that the UK market is the largest in the regional block. The UK Coinbase CEO also mentioned that the company is planning to expand its London team by the end of the year.
What do you think the partnership of Barclays and Coinbase will achieve for the British crypto enthusiasts? Share your thoughts and opinions with us in the comments section.