Coinbase has launched its payment services in 13 countries of Europe thus expanding its operations beyond USA.
The beta launch, which will be now available in Latvia, Austria, Belgium, Finland, Spain, France, Greece, Italy, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia and Cyprus will enable its users to purchase up to €500 in bitcoins per day.
Still, the team plans to increase the limit upon the completion of the launch stage.
Previously, Coinbase provided its services only in USA. The company’s wallet was utilized by 36,000 merchants, 1.6 million consumers and 6,000 developers.
According to Coinbase, the firm could quickly expand its operation across the country after its “integration with the US banking system which makes it easy for people to buy and sell Bitcoin.”
In an interview to Coindesk, Coinbase CEO and co-founder Brian Armstrong told: “We looked at what markets to move into next, and Europe seemed like the next biggest economy. It’s developed, there are people there who want to get bitcoin, there’s a lot of demand for it, but they really don’t have an easy way to do it.”
Armstrong also hopes the expansion will encourage other companies to participate in the project: “I want there to be 100 entrepreneurs in each of these countries, someone there with local relationships who will get a bank deal done and launch some version of it that will help the whole ecosystem grow.”
He added: “It has been impossible before this for any individual company to tackle the big incumbents because of the amount of capital required to compete with them at a global scale. Even Facebook tried to do it with Facebook Credits, but I think bitcoin will win because it is that open network.”
The wallet service has been available in Europe to bitcoin owners, but the announcement marks Coinbase’s formal entrance into the European market.
Armstrong is optimistic about the expansion saying that Coinbase expects to replicate its success in USA abroad. He told Coindesk: “We haven’t seen that kind of merchant adoption in Europe yet, and I think the reason is that there’s just still not as many consumers have an easy way to get a little bit of bitcoin.”
Coinbase CEO did not give any information about the banking partner, but noted that Coinbase is likely to enter into partnerships with a number of banks.
“You don’t actually need one in each country, because we’re using the SEPA network. But, you need at least one, and ideally more than one, so that’s what we spent a bunch of time doing,” he told.
Armstrong also told that Coinbase will continue its beta launch in order to ensure it can handle demand and that its risk management services are working correctly.