Coinbase, the U.S.-based digital currency startup, announced yesterday (April 29) that it is expanding its presence into the U.K.
The international expansion allows the startup to bring its Coinbase Exchange that allows users to trade bitcoin, as well as the ability to buy/sell bitcoin using the Coinbase wallet. The company also announced the addition of BTC/GBP and BTC/EUR currency pairs on Coinbase Exchange for its U.K. users.
“Our mission at Coinbase is to make payments more open and efficient around the world. Expanding to the U.K. is an important step towards that goal and will make it easier to access bitcoin in one of the financial capitals of the world,” Coinbase provided on its blog.
Customers can also now convert euros, British pounds and USD (by wire transfer) to their Coinbase wallet that can be used to buy bitcoin. U.K. users will get the same experience as the U.S. users, which comes with a set of services, included hosted bitcoin wallets, buy/sell service, and merchant tools.
Coinbase’s expansion into the U.K. isn’t surprising, especially among recent support from regulators abroad that have voiced support for bitcoin. Recently, U.K. authorities have voiced strong support for digital currencies — bitcoin included — as a way to help the market evolve. British leaders have also discussed steps to innovate digital currency markets by regulating it lightly in order to avoid legal pitfalls.
The tech enthusiasts, however, are leading the charge to make London the “real-world hub” for the trade of cryptocurrencies, and bitcoin seems to be the first logical step, as well as the technology that powers it: the blockchain. The British government has also been a strong proponent on digital currencies, as long as it can regulate them, as a method to prevent money-laundering and illegal trading.
“I’d definitely say that regulation is more favorable in the U.K. right now,” CEO Brian Armstrong said in an interview with TechCrunch, noting that he hopes to expand to 40 countries in 2015. “I have to give a lot of credit to U.K. regulators. They’ve actually been very forward thinking about bitcoin.”