The San Francisco-based cryptocurrency giant Coinbase said Wednesday that customers in the United Kingdom can now buy digital assets with the British Pound.
The news is significant because, until now, the company’s UK customers had to maintain their fiat funds in euros rather than pound sterling. This meant the process for buying Bitcoin and other digital currencies on Coinbase took several days and resulted in foreign exchange fees.
The upshot is British customers will now be able to carry out same-day payments and withdrawals.
“UK banks have been conservative in terms of working with crypto businesses and we’re proud to be one of the first companies to get access to domestic banking,” said Zeeshan Feroz, the CEO of Coinbase UK.
Coinbase’s support for British pounds (GBP) could also mean a higher volume of cryptocurrency transactions in the United Kingdom, which is the world’s fifth biggest economy.
The company says it will begin adding GBP trading pairs such as GBP-Bitcoin and GBP-Ethereum in the coming weeks. These pairs are the instruments by which traders make bets on currency movements in global foreign exchange markets, and Coinbase expects the new offerings to be popular with professional traders.
In the last month, Coinbase has also suggested it has preparing to expand the number of digital assets it makes available to customers. Due to regulatory uncertainty, the company has so far only offered Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, and Litecoin.
In a recent blog post, Coinbase says it is contemplating the addition of Cardano, Basic Attention Token, 0x, Stellar Lumens, and Zcash. Given the tighter regulatory constraints, it is likely the company will begin offering these tokens first in the UK and Europe.