In the past two years, the cryptocurrency market has seen a dramatic growth in terms of acceptance and volume, with cryptocurrency exchanges being the number one destination for most traders. Exchanges have featured front and center in the majority of the positive news stories in the crypto world, and Coinbase UK’s recent news is no exception.
On August 1st, Coinbase, a popular UK based cryptocurrency exchange, made an official announcement that they have added support for the British pound sterling (GBP). This development allows customers of Coinbase, Coinbase Pro, and Coinbase Prime to make faster payments with same-day deposit and withdrawal functions from Coinbase to any British bank Account. The crypto-trading community has welcomed the news gladly, with many noting that the omission of the pound was unnecessarily hamstringing crypto adoption in the country.
It’s Busy at the Base
Coinbase has one of the leading cryptocurrency exchanges in the UK for quite some time now. Founded in 2012, the exchange quickly gained a strong foothold in the crypto community, reaching a one million strong user base in 2014. The acceptance of the pound sterling is a landmark decision, but hardly Coinbase’s only positive press in past few months. The company has been busy recently, developing a crypto retail card, conducting a final test of Ethereum Classic before the formal announcement of its listing. It’s unveiled a plugin that serves millions of e-commerce vendors. And as of October, 2018, the official launch of the ZRX token on Coinbase Pro.
Why Pound Support Is so Vital
Coinbase customers often faced hurdles when converting Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, or Litecoin, as there was no support allowed for pound deposits or withdrawals. Customers had to convert crypto funds into Euros and then into pounds using an exchange or an international bank. Needless to say, this process moved with a glacial inclination, taking up to several days.
That has all changed, however, with Coinbase receiving an e-money license from the Financial Conduct Authority of the U.K. It’s also joined the UK’s Faster Payment Service (FPS), a banking initiative which aims to reduce transaction processing times. While the rollout of this new feature is still ongoing, it will allow customers to complete same-day deposits and withdrawals in pounds, replacing the old, time-consuming system. To hear it from Coinbase UK’s CEO Mr. Zeeshan Feroz,
“Customers will now be able to deposit and withdraw pound sterling and use it to directly buy and sell cryptocurrency – for the first time. Customers will not only benefit from increased speed, but reduced cost as well. By no longer having to convert funds from GBP to euros and vice versa to add and remove funds, there will be no more exchange rates.” He adds, “The biggest thing for me is rolling out access to faster payments for UK consumers (…) over the next few weeks, we’ll be rolling that out for all customers. UK users will be able to deposit Sterling and withdraw Sterling out into their bank accounts using faster payments.”
The recent Coinbase announcement is a boon to U.K crypto enthusiasts and traders. By making pound deposits and withdrawals a reality, Coinbase expects to benefit expert traders and hedge funds alike, both of whom require instant and immediate transfers to enter and exit their positions in the market. As one of the precious few exchanges offering this functionality, Coinbase is poised to increase its lead over the competition.