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Coinbase Says First Crypto Exchange To Open UK Bank Account

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US-based Coinbase has become the first cryptocurrency exchange to open a UK bank account, receive e-money license and gain access to the UK's Faster Payments Scheme (FPS), according to the company's blog post.

It has been granted an e-money license by the UK's financial regulator Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). This will allow it to issue e-money and provide payment services in the UK.

Coinbase UK CEO Zeeshan Feroz wrote, "Our e-money license will extend beyond the UK to 23 countries within the EU. We believe that this is an important step towards our commitment to making cryptocurrency accessible to everyone."

While the blog does not reveal with whom Coinbase has opened the bank account, reports said it was partnering with UK lender Barclays Bank plc.

The FCA license also paved the way for Coinbase to add support for FPS for its UK customers, which is supported by all major UK banks. This will see its customers benefiting from faster, safer and seamless topping up and withdrawal of money.

FPS will replace Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA), which is a payment-integration initiative of the European Union for simplification of bank transfers denominated in euro.

Feroz noted that the company will start with a pilot, giving a small number of institutional users access to FPS. It will then begin rolling out to all U.K. customers over the coming weeks.

Coinbase said the UK continues to be its largest market for cryptos in Europe since 2014.

Banks and financial institutions in the U.K. have traditionally kept cryptocurrency exchanges and cryptocurrencies at arm's length due to their anonymity and concerns over money laundering.

In a few other countries, bank accounts held by cryptocurrency exchanges have been blocked or terminated amid fears of aiding money laundering due to the anonymity associated with digital currencies.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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