US crypto exchange and wallet service Coinbase has started working directly with UK banks and has added support for cryptocurrency transactions conducted in British pounds (GBP).
Coinbase announced the new feature in a blog post on August 2, revealing that UK-based customers can now purchase and sell crypto assets directly, enabling “almost immediate” GBP-denominated transactions.
According to the blog post, GBP support is now live for “some” Coinbase, Coinbase Pro and Coinbase Prime customers, but Coinbase has promised to “continue rolling this out to all UK customers in the coming weeks.”
Before GBP support was rolled out, Coinbase users in the UK were forced to wait “several days” to convert crypto into pounds sterling and vice versa. The process of converting Bitcoin, Bitcoin cash, Ethereum and Litecoin was previously conducted “via international bank transfer,” first into Euros and then into pounds sterling.
In the runup to the rollout of GBP support, Coinbase obtained an e-money license for fiat money operations from the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and gained access to the Faster Payments Scheme (FPS), a UK banking initiative aimed at reducing transaction times.
Several key corporate acquisitions made by Coinbase had reportedly been greenlighted by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in July, which would have allegedly enabled Coinbase to operate as a broker dealer and granted the company the right to list security tokens. However, Coinbase stated that its talks with the SEC were informal in nature, and formal approval has not been obtained.