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Coinbase strikes Bitcoin exchange deal with Barclays

(Image credit: Image Credit: Geralt / Pixabay)

UK's Coinbase users can now buy Bitcoin more easily, thanks to a deal the company struck with Barclays. Reuters (opens in new tab) is reporting Coinbase came to an agreement with Barclays, allowing it to open a bank account with it.

Coinbase's UK subsidiary was the first one to get the e-money license by the UK's financial watchdog, it was said.

Prior to this agreement, UK citizens looking to buy or trade Bitcoin had to use a workaround – they had to transfer pounds to euros and buy through an Estonian bank.

“Having domestic GBP payments with Barclays reduces the cost, improves the customer experience...and makes the transaction faster,” said Zeeshan Feroz, Coinbase’s UK CEO.

Banks are very reluctant in dealing with cryptocurrencies in any manner. This is because they are mostly perceived as tools used by criminals to launder money or purchase illegal things like drugs or weapons. Bitcoin is also the preferred method of payment for hackers attacking businesses with ransomware.

Another reason why banks are mostly steering clear of digital currencies is the fact that they are still a long way from any serious regulation. States are looking to regulate the ongoing craze, and some are more successful than others. ICOs, or Initial Coin Offerings, are banned in South Korea, for example, for being a simple platform for scammers looking to trick people into giving away their hard-earned cash.

The UK is the largest market for Coinbase in Europe, and the exchange said its customer base in the region was growing at twice the rate of elsewhere, Reuters added.

Image Credit: Geralt / Pixabay

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.