Bitcoin startup Coinbase is launching in the UK
Decentralised digital currency Bitcoin has had a tumultuous 2015, kicking off the year with a price drop of 30% in a matter of days. But there has also been an influx of venture capital cash into the space, with Coinbase being one of the key beneficiaries.
In January it raised $75 million — then a new record for the industry.
The UK is preparing to regulate Bitcoin using anti-money laundering frameworks, with the government aiming to position the country “at the forefront of the development of digital currencies,” making it “the location of choice for digital currency and related tech firms.” London is also the world capital for fintech startups, with more workers in fintech than either New York or Silicon Valley.
Coinbase’s services are already varyingly available in 24 countries, with 2.1 million wallet holders and 39,000 merchants. But the exchange has yet to expand outside of its native America, making the British launch a first.
Some 40,000 Brits already make use of Coinbase’s wallets in the UK, but there has previously been no functionality to convert into fiat currency. So consumers looking to send Bitcoin to other digital currency enthusiasts were fine, but there was no way for Brits to convert it into real world cash on the platform.