Banks are slowly changing their opinion on cryptocurrencies. A few institutions still prefer to restrict access to this new form of money altogether. Barclays, on the other hand, has entered a partnership with Coinbase. As such, the popular cryptocurrency exchange now has a UK bank account which opens up a lot of new opportunities.
Barclays and Coinbase Team Up
People who have kept an eye on the cryptocurrency may have noticed there’s a lack of GBP support. Most non-UK exchanges seemingly prefer not to deal with GBP as we speak. It seems Coinbase is taking the completely opposite approach in this regard. By partnering with Barclays, the company becomes the first major partner for a UK bank.
The goal of this partnership is straightforward. Coinbase wants to make Bitcoin more accessible to British customers. With British lenders distancing themselves from Bitcoin in the past, this is a major milestone for the cryptocurrency industry. There is another benefit to this new partnership as well, though. Coinbase now also has an e-money license in the United Kingdom. As such, they can now benefit from the Faster Payments Scheme.
Making it easier and faster to deposit and withdraw money to and from Coinbase is always a positive change. Until now, UK users had to rely on an Estonian bank for these transactions. It is far from an ideal solution. With Barclays now on board, all of those problems have become a thing of the past. For now, the Faster Payments Scheme support will only roll out to a select group of users. Eventually, this feature will become accessible to all users across the UK.
The Purpose of the e-Money License
The biggest part of this new deal is how Coinbase now has an eMoney license. Coinbase can effectively issue e-money and offer payment services within the United Kingdom. Moreover, customer funds deposited to the exchange are separate from the company’s operational funds. This is a big step forward for the company and its users as a whole.
Even if the exchange were to halt its operations, customer funds will still remain accessible. This is not the same a shaving customer funds protected by a regulator, but it is a big step in the right direction. This new feature will certainly attract a lot of positive attention in the UK and even Europe. With the exchange meeting strict rules enforced by the FCA, the exchange is now legitimized even more.
How all of this will affect the company, remains to be seen. More specifically, the exchange has seen major growth prior to this announcement. With UK Bitcoin enthusiasts soon able to benefit from an optimal service, interesting things are bound to happen. Considering how Coinbase is the first exchange to incorporate the Faster Payments Scheme, they have a competitive edge over other UK-based exchanges.