Today it has become known that one of the major cryptocurrency exchanges Coinbase Inc. obtained an e-money license in the United Kingdom and now is expanding its services across Europe. The U.K. subsidiary of the company has also opened an account at Barclays Plc, which will facilitate deposits and withdrawal for its clients.
The e-money license that was granted to Coinbase by the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority now allows the company to provide payment services and issue digital cash alternatives that then can be used for carrying our card, phone or internet paying procedures. This opportunity will enable Coinbase to establish more mutually beneficial partnerships with other companies and organizations with a view to ensure better customers experience and offer a wider range of services.
Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase that helps investors buy and sell Bitcoin as well as other major virtual currencies, saw a significant demand growth in the EU market during the last year. That’s why the company is actively hiring employees in London to satisfy this demand. It is expected that this year the staff will be expanded by roughly eight times.
Though the company’s exchange itself isn’t regulated in the same way as U.K. stock exchanges as there is still no legal framework for digital assets, obtaining e-money license is already a big deal for Coinbase. This license means that among all other things the company meets stringent Know Your Customer (KYC) standards that were designed to protect customers. Nevertheless, Coinbase representatives highlighted that e-money is not just the same as cryptocurrencies, they are different things. But the company considers their new license to be an important step in their strategy to make cryptocurrencies accessible to a wide audience.
In their press release Coinbase team said: “We are committed to making sure customer funds are always secure and this update means that our e-money operations have safeguards and operational standards at par with other regulated financial institutions. An example of this is segregation of client funds, where all customer fiat balances will be separated from Coinbase’s funds and kept in separate bank accounts.”
Moreover, the granted license gives to San Francisco-based Coinbase the right to extend it services to more than 20 other European Union countries. Nevertheless, there is still no clear understanding whether the upcoming so-called Brexit will affect that. This issue should be discussed. But if the rules enabling Coinbase to continue operating are not preserved, the company will have to suspend services rendering and wait for a second license from a member state that will allow it to continue its work.
In addition, the company has informed that it is the first crypto exchange that will start supporting the U.K.’s Faster Payments Scheme, which will significantly speed up the time that is needed in the U.K. for sending and receiving fiat money from Coinbase.