Coinbase recently revealed its opening of a bank account with Barclays, a major U.K.-based multinational financial services company. This is the first partnership between a major U.K. bank and a cryptocurrency exchange.
Coinbase U.K. Chief Executive Officer Zeeshan Feroz stated, “Having domestic GBP payments with Barclays reduces the cost, improves the customer experience…and makes the transaction faster.” Feroz added, “We believe that this is an important step towards our commitment to making cryptocurrency accessible to everyone.”
He continued saying that the process of reaching an agreement with the bank has been a long one as Barclays wanted to see the evidence of the exchange’s robust anti-money laundering processes. Feroz said, “It’s a completely brand new industry. There’s a lot of understanding and risk management that’s needed.”
The announcement came after the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority granted the exchange an e-money license which allows Coinbase access to the Faster Payments Scheme that will streamline the processing, withdrawing, and depositing of fiat currency for the company’s customers in the country.
Feroz stated that the exchange will gradually introduce the new banking services to its U.K. traders: “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.”
The announcement comes weeks after the Treasury Select Committee of Britain revealed that it would launch an inquiry into distributed ledger technologies and cryptocurrencies. Treasury Committee Chair Nicky Morgan talks about people’s awareness on the matter, saying “People are becoming increasingly aware of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, but they may not be aware that they are currently unregulated in the UK, and that there is no protection for individual investors.”