Coinbase, the US cryptocurrency exchange, has suddenly announced it no longer supports the UK's Faster Payments Scheme and that it now requires a minimum deposit of £1,000 ($1,240) for British account holders.
CoinTelegraph reported on Wednesday it had seen emails between Coinbase support staff, and that UK users of the exchange must - for the time being - use the much slower SWIFT system to transfer funds.
SWIFT transfers can take up to five days within national borders. Cross border payments to the US are likely to take double that.
Coinbase gave no reason for the abrupt change in protocol for UK users, only saying the correspondence seen by the news outlet that it had "temporarily suspended Faster Payments and added support for GBP SWIFT payments in the interim".
It added that Faster Payments would resume "within the next few months", but did not say whether it would keep the minimum deposit at £1,000.
The correspondence seen reportedly continued:
For your account’s security and to prevent any potential fraudulent activity, you will be unable to withdraw these funds or send the value of this deposit from Coinbase for 5 calendar days after deposit.
Faster Payments Scheme
It is only four months since Coinbase reported it had become the first cryptocurrency exchange to open a UK bank account and gain access to the Faster Payments Scheme. It also said it had received an e-money license from the Financial Conduct Authority to allow it to offer payment services to its clients.
Of the non-UK exchanges operating in the country, Coinbase has remained the only one to offer Faster Payments for deposits. UK-based BC Bitcoin is now the only exchange to offer this service.
Coinbase declined to make any announcements on its blog and gave no specific date on when the Faster Payments deposite would resume.