Coinbase to Finally Support GBP Deposits and Withdrawals

  • Coinbase is reportedly going to add support for GBP deposits and withdrawals, a move that'll improve user experience for its UK customers.
  • Currently, the platform allows users to deposit and withdraw sterling, but converts the funds to EUR.

Popular US-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase is reportedly going to add support for GBP, in a move that’s set to make it easier for the company’s UK customers to deposit and withdraw funds, improving user experience.

According to a recently published report, Coinbase UK CEO Zeeshan Feroz, a speaker at CryptoCompare & MJAC’s London Blockchain Summit, revealed the company is going to roll out support for GBP wire transfers “in the next few weeks.”

The cryptocurrency exchange currently uses Estonian bank LHV to process payments, which are all made in euros (EUR). Whenever it receives a GBP deposit or withdrawal, Coinbase converts the funds to EUR. If a user withdraws to an account denominated in GBP, it may deal with additional fees for foreign currency transactions.

The move is set to improve user experience for UK customers. Feroz was quoted as saying:

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.

Zeeshan Feroz

As CryptoGlobe reported, Coinbase received an e-money license from the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) earlier this year, after opening a bank account with Barclays. This let the exchange support GBP payments, and join the Faster Payments Scheme (FPS).

Feroz had in the past pointed out that the UK market is the largest one in Europe. According to CrytoCompare data, 869 BTC (about $5.3 million) were traded against GBP in the last 24-hour period, meaning the fiat currency represented 0.25 percent of the flagship cryptocurrency’s trading volume.

During the interview, Feroz was also asked about the company’s support for new cryptocurrencies, as at press time it only supports Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Litecoin. In response, the CEO referenced the newly-acquired decentralized exchange Paradex, stating:

We will start to take a product-specific view in terms of the regulatory profiles of coins and the service they’re providing and if that allows us to extend it beyond the four coins we have. You will see our businesses as they grow, the coins supported will maybe diverge. One example of that is Paradex which today is live in Europe with eight coins.

Zeeshan Feroz

The response corroborates that Coinbase may soon support ERC-20 tokens, as it had previously announced. Feroz noted that while the company is looking for regulatory certainty, its absence won’t stop it from adding new tokens.

Coinbase has entered the path to offer SEC-regulated crypto securities, after it acquired Venovate Marketplace Inc, Keystone Capital Corp, and Digital Wealth LLC. The company has, however, been subject to controversy as various users recently filed a complaint with the SEC alleging their funds have been “stolen” or locked by the exchange.

As Tether Premium Disappears, Bitfinex and Ethfinex Launch New IEO Platform: Tokinex

Avi Rosten

Prominent exchanges Bitfinex and Ethfinex have announced a new IEO (Initial Exchange Offering) platform.

The new platform, Tokinex, allows users to participate in pre-vetted token sales from new projects listing on the platform. In a departure from other similar offerings such as Binance Launchpad, token issuers on Tokinex don’t have to pay any upfront fees for listing, while successful launches on the platform will also benefit from listing on both Bitfinex and Ethfinex.

The new exchange also utilizes the KYC service from Blockpass, which allows customers to complete KYC verification but without storing data on the exchange. The first token sale will be announced on May 23rd, with the sale taking place on 13th June.

Will Harborne, Founder of Ethfinex, told CryptoGlobe:

Tokinex has been several months in development, incorporating feedback, testing and learning to reach a quality level users have come to expect at Bitfinex and Ethfinex. It has been carefully crafted to put the user experience front and centre, from incorporating Block Pass for KYC that is easy to use and does not store personal data, to being able to contribute existing assets directly from the user’s own wallet, rather than having to purchase a native platform token to participate.

IEOs in 2019

This latest platform from Bitfinex adds to the growing list of IEO platforms that have followed Binance, including OKEx, Huobi and Bittrex.

For Bitfinex, the news comes in the aftermath of fraud allegations in April from the New York Attorney General against Bitfinex and Tether, over alleged losses of over $850 million. However, the Tether Risk Premium, - a measure of how much the market believes Tether to be riskier than its underlying USD, has since almost completely disappeared - indicating that investors at the moment have little concern over Tether’s value.

This is likely due to restored investor confidence in Bitfinex and Tether, after Bitfinex CTO Paolo Ardoino revealed on May 13th that the company had raised $1 billion in a private token sale. The chart below shows the impact of the announcement as the premium on the BTC price on the Bitfinex Exchange narrowed to zero following several weeks where bitcoin was trading above its spot price.

Bitfinex Premium Narrows