Crypto Exchange Coinbase Receives E-Money License From UK Financial Conduct Authority

Announcements, News, Regulation | March 15, 2018 By:

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has been granted an e-money license by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

The license will allow Coinbase to issue e-money and provide payment services in the region. It will also allow the company to strike partnerships with banks and payment services and allow it to explore possibilities with other businesses from a commercial angle.

“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,” Coinbase said. “Our e-money license will extend beyond the UK to 23 countries within the EU. We believe that this is an important step towards our commitment to making cryptocurrency accessible to everyone.”

Zeeshan Feroz, Coinbase’s UK chief executive, said the biggest benefit directly to customers is an improved user experience, which is achieved through the ability to strike partnerships. As a regulated business, Coinbase can go have a conversation with banks and other partners that they need to operate.

Feroz also revealed that Coinbase has established a “full banking relationship” with Barclays. Deposits and withdrawals for UK customers will be routed through the British financial giant.

“We’ve been looking for accounts for over a year and have spoken to several banks,” Feroz said. “Barclays did a lot of due diligence on us as a business. We opened our doors and went through an open process with them.”

In addition to its new e-money license, the company announced it was joining the UK Faster Payments Scheme, which aims to provide efficient bank transfers to residents. By replacing SEPA for UK customers, Faster Payments will offer a familiar payment experience and is supported by all major UK banks. Coinbase said they will start with a pilot, giving a small number of institutional users access to Faster Payments. In the coming weeks, it will begin rolling out to all UK customers.

Furthermore, the company said that it plans to grow its London team eight times by the end of this year. “Since we began offering our services to European users in 2014, we have seen the crypto space grow significantly,” said Feroz. “The EU grew twice as fast as any of our other markets in 2017, and the UK continues to be our largest market here. In order to meet this increasing demand we plan to grow our London team 8x by the end of this year.”