It’s official. Coinbase is going to expand its service pertaining to digital currency into the United Kingdom and European Union. The move has been prompted by the growing need for a dedicated office and presence in the European Union.
Coinbase has stated that the demand for their services is on the rise and this has made the company opt for regulatory licensure from relevant European agencies. In order to substantiate the expansion, Coinbase has also said that it will increase their team in London by 8 times.
What is the Official Status?
Officially, Coinbase was given an e-money license by the United Kingdom Financial Conduct Authority on Wednesday. This license will give the company permission to offer payment services and provide digital alternatives to currency all over Europe. This, in turn, means that customers will be able to make payments by credit or debit cards, online or through their mobile phones.
However, it must be noted that there is a stark difference between e-money and cryptocurrencies. At the same time, the license granted to Coinbase carries with it strict conditions that have been created to offer protection to clients and users.
In a press release issued by the company, a spokesperson from Coinbase explained:
“Coinbase is dedicated to ensuring our client’s monies are completely secure. Now, with the rigid regulations governing our operations in Europe, we have updated and upgraded our security features. This effectively puts us in the same league as varying financial houses and organisations operating across Europe at present. One instance of the aforementioned division with regard to our e-money operations is the distinction made and separate handling of customer funds. Coinbase funds will be segregated from our client’s fiat money and stored is dedicated bank accounts for each.”
Another important thing to note about the license issued by the FCA is that it enables Coinbase to begin operations in 23 nations in the European Union. However, there is still doubt over the status of the license when the UK finally adopts Brexit. At present though, Coinbase will be allowed to trade in EU. But if relevant rules granting permission to Coinbase to continue operating in the EU get changed, then the company will have to temporarily halt operations. Coinbase will then have to seek licensure from individual nations for their requisite operational.
Alongside this news, another piece of information was declared.
Coinbase will become a part of the UK Faster Payments Scheme. The purpose of this is to accelerate banking transactions for citizens. Currently, a prototype is set to be launched which is expected to pave the way for a complete program granting access to all customers in the country.