As giant crypto exchange Coinbase spreads its wings across Europe, it receives an E-Money license from UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
The license, issued by UK’s financial regulator, allows the San Francisco-based crypto exchange to offer it's payment and e-money services to customers based in the United Kingdom, as well as 23 countries within the European Union.
According to Coinbase UK Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Zeeshan Feroz, the license was not gotten on a platter of gold, as the exchange was mandated to comply with certain ‘strict rules’ enforced by UK regulators. The license also enables Coinbase to open its own UK-based bank account, a first for crypto exchanges. Combination of the license and bank account opening enrolls Coinbase in the UK’s Faster Payments Scheme for faster and more efficient bank transfers. That means UK users can transact fiat pounds faster.
At the moment, Coinbase is yet to reveal its banking partner. Meanwhile, reports by the Financial Times claim Coinbase opened a bank account with Britain's biggest bank Barclays. Apart from Coinbase, another crypto startup, Circle, has an e-money license from the FCA, which it got in April 2016.
Before now, an Estonian bank was used to process transactions from its UK customers, with all funds being lumped together. Now, with the license, customer's funds and Coinbase's funds will be distinct.
In contrast to its parent company, Coinbase UK is closer to regulation compliance required by a recognized financial institution.
Coinbase UK CEO Feroz said:
“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. An example of this is segregation of client funds, where all customer fiat balances will be separated from Coinbase’s funds and kept in separate bank accounts.”
These latest developments will place Coinbase in a strategic position to meet the increased demands of the fast growing European market. In furtherance to that, plans are also in place to increase the workforce to adequately cater for the market’s needs.