Coinbase Adds Support for GBP Deposits and Withdrawals

Avi Rosten

In a move that will make crypto purchases for UK customers far smoother, popular cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase announced today it has added support for pound sterling (GBP) deposits and withdrawals.

Announced this morning on the US-based exchange’s blog, and via an email to users, the company explained:

Until now, the process of converting bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ethereum and litecoin into euros and then into pound sterling, via international bank transfer, took several days. Customers will now be able to transfer pound sterling and use it to directly buy and sell these cryptocurrencies

Available for “select customers” from today, the email added that the service will soon be coming to all customers in the UK.

Describing how the exchange has “worked hard” over recent months to add the new GBP offering, the blog post relates that they have taken “major strides” to make Coinbase compliant, including obtaining an e-money license from the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

In addition, Coinbase UK will now be supporting the Faster Payments Scheme – a banking initiative that reduces payment times for transactions under £250,000. Talking to Hard Fork, a Coinbase spokesperson explained how the scheme will be incorporated:

Faster Payments is a UK scheme. It is not available outside the UK. Generally speaking, Coinbase strives to provide our customers globally with the easiest way to convert fiat in to crypto[currency] and back. We will continue to invest in partnerships and infrastructure that helps us deliver this.

Coinbase Pushing for the Mainstream

This latest addition comes at a time when the exchange is rapidly seeking to expand its offerings and widen its mainstream appeal.

Recently seeing its ads returning to Google, Facebook and Instagram in a policy reversal that was significant for the industry as a whole, the exchange has also recently launched a crypto-gift card service that allows customers to purchase gift cards with cryptocurrencies for major stores such as Nike, Tesco and Google Play.

Coinbase Preparing for Stock Market Listing as Early as This Year: Report

San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has reportedly started preparing for a stock market listing that could come as early as this year.

The move would make Coinbase the first major U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange to go public, but the listing would require the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) blessing. According to Reuters, one source claimed the exchange is considering a direct listing instead of a traditional initial public offering (IPO).

While in an IPO new shares are created, underwritten and sold to the public, in a direct listing no new shares and created and only outstanding shares are sold, with no underwriters involved. Reuters quoted three people familiar with the matter, who requested anonymity because the listing preparations are reportedly confidential.

Coinbase has not yet registered its intention to go publish with the SEC, but has already reached out to investment banks and law firms. The cryptocurrency exchange was valued at $8 billion in its latest private fundraising round in 2018.

It was founded in 2012 and now has over 35 million users, allowing them to trade various cryptoassets both on its Coinbase platform and on the Coinbase Pro platform. It also has multiple other services, including Custody, Commerce, and Earn.

The San Francisco-based firm’s bitcoin holdings are estimated to now be over 1 million BTC, as users deposit funds on it over time. Last month Coinbase revealed it suffered outages after seeing its traffic spike significantly in a few minutes, as the price of most cryptocurrencies moved abruptly.

As CryptoGlobe reported, CryptoCompare’s June 2020 Exchange Review showed Coinbase was the third-largest top tier crypto exchange by trading volume in May, trading $6.86 billion worth of crypto throughout the month, falling behind OKEx and Binance.

Featured image via Unsplash.