Coinbase is making it easier for Brits to buy and sell cryptocurrency. The exchange desk announced it now supports Pound Sterling deposits and withdrawals natively on its platform.
In addition to eliminating frictions associated with converting funds from Euro to pounds, another benefit of having native support for the local currency is that it allows for much faster deposit and withdrawal times.
Coinbase has begun rolling this functionality to its UK customers already, but it might take a couple of days before the feature is available to all users countrywide.
The new system is currently only available in the UK, but Coinbase says it has every intention to introduce similar improvements in other countries. For now though, the rest of the world will have to wait.
“Faster Payments is a UK scheme. It is not available outside the UK,” a Coinbase spokesperson told Hard Fork. “Generally speaking, Coinbase strives to provide our customers globally with the easiest way to convert fiat in to crypto[currency] and back. We will continue to invest in partnerships and infrastructure that helps us deliver this.”
The new integration is powered by Faster Payments, which is one of the fastest transfer systems available, and has a maximum transaction limit of £250,000 per transaction. In an email to Hard Fork, Coinbase stated that they do not have a limit as to what they can recieve, for larger sums CHAPs (an alternative, more costly payment infrastructure) can be used, but it’s slower and much less convenient. According to Barclays, there is a £25 fee for a CHAPS transaction.
The biggest takeaway here is that native support for the pound means that deposits and withdrawals will no longer be subject to annoying conversion fees and relevant bank exchange rates.
Traditionally, Coinbase users were at the mercy of slow, cumbersome and often costly international bank transfers. So simpler, faster transactions will be of great news to all UK users, especially to high-frequency traders who will no longer have to wait for days to cash out.
I guess that’s another way to make it easier for Coinbase users to spend their crypto-riches at the mall.