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Coinbase Heats Up Competition in Europe

Sead Fadilpašić
Last updated: | 1 min read

The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) granted Coinbase an e-money license, the company announced today in a blog post on Medium. Their license will also be extended beyond the UK to 23 countries within the EU.

Source: iStock/monsitj

The U.S. headquartered Coinbase, one of the better-known digital wallet providers and owner of GDAX, a top 10 exchange by volume, is also expanding their London team eightfold by the end of the year, and are taking applications to open positions now.

“The EU grew twice as fast as any of our other markets in 2017, and the UK continues to be our largest market here”, Zeeshan Feroz, U.K. CEO at Coinbase, wrote in a blog post.

This e-money license means that Coinbase is allowed to issue e-money and provide payment services in the UK. The blog post explains, “The license requires Coinbase’s e-money operations to meet the strict rules enforced by the FCA and the Payment Services Directive. For our customers, this will ultimately help us deliver a better experience through new partnerships and an easier to use product.”

Coinbase is also the first crypto exchange to support the UK’s Faster Payments Scheme. It means, that Coinbase will be replacing SEPA with it for their UK customers so Faster Payments will “offer a familiar payment experience and is supported by all major UK banks.” SEPA is a payment-integration initiative of the European Union for simplification of bank transfers denominated in euro.

Also, the UK subsidiary of Coinbase had secured a bank account with Barclays, a British bank, in order simplify the process of deposits and withdrawals for Coinbase’s UK customers, who have previously had their transactions processed through an Estonian bank, the Financial Times said.

They are not the only exchange with changes coming: Binance is launching its own blockchain, to offset the centralization of their platform, stating that, “Centralized and Decentralized exchanges will co-exist in the near future, complementing each other, while also having interdependence.” Going by this, it is speculated that Binance will launch a decentralized exchange that will operate alongside its existing exchange.