Coinbase strikes Bitcoin exchange deal with Barclays

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UK's Coinbase users can now buy Bitcoin more easily, thanks to a deal the company struck with Barclays. Reuters 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.

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