Coinbase announces UK expansion
Coinbase announced Tuesday the expansion of its services to the UK, including the ability to trade Bitcoin on Coinbase Exchange and to buy and sell Bitcoin with British Pounds using the Coinbase Wallet. The company also announced the addition of Bitcoin/Pounds and Bitcoin/Euro currency pairs on Coinbase Exchange for UK users.
According to a company blog post, Coinbase users in the UK can now:
- Credit Euros (via Single Euro Payments Area), British Pounds and U.S. Dollars (via wire transfer) on their Coinbase Wallet to buy Bitcoin from Coinbase or to trade with on Coinbase Exchange.
- Trade BTC/USD, BTC/GBP, and BTC/EUR currency pairs on Coinbase Exchange.
- Use the full suite of Coinbase Wallet services, including hosted Bitcoin wallets, buy/sell service, and merchant tools.
Coinbase said its mission is to make payments more open and efficient worldwide. The UK expansion is an important step toward that goal and will make it easier to access Bitcoin in one of the financial capitals of the world, the company said.
Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong told TechCrunch that the company hopes to be in 40 nations by the end of the year.
“I’d definitely say that regulation is more favorable in the UK right now,” said Armstrong. “I have to give a lot of credit to UK regulators. They’ve actually been very forward thinking about bitcoin.”
Coinbase co-founder Fred Ehrsam echoed Armstrong’s comments about the regulatory environment in the UK in an interview with The Guardian. “The payments regulators and the Treasury are taking a very balance view of bitcoin. They’re really taking their time to understand the core technology prior to regulating.”
Ehrsam told the newspaper that with the expansion of the exchange service to the UK, he predicts Coinbase’s customer base will be “a healthy combination of regular everyday people, [high-net-worth individuals] and then a few hedge fund guys, a few institutional guys. Over time, that shifts more and more towards larger institutional players.”
Image courtesy of Coinbase