Coinbase Expands To The United Kingdom With Wallet, Exchange

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About six months after it initially crossed the pond, Coinbase is finally landing in the United Kingdom. Coinbase is the bitcoin wallet and platform backed with more than $100 million from DFJ, NYSE and Andreessen Horowitz and that has attracted north of 2.7 million consumer accounts.

With the expansion, they’re bringing both the exchange and their consumer wallet to the British market. UK-based users will be able to trade bitcoin against the British pound and the euro. CEO Brian Armstrong adds that they’re hoping to be in 40 countries by the end of the year.

“I’d definitely say that regulation is more favorable in the UK right now,” Armstrong said. “I have to give a lot of credit to UK regulators. They’ve actually been very forward thinking about bitcoin.”

That isn’t surprising given that London has been a banking capital for centuries. New York regulators in contrast are revising a framework they call BitLicense where they manage licenses for any businesses that receive, transmit, buy, store or hold virtual currencies.

Armstrong hinted that the exchange might be the most revenue-rich part of the business in the U.K. for awhile to come. Coinbase is divided into three pillars between a consumer wallet, a platform with APIs for developers and an exchange where investors can trade bitcoin against the major currencies.

Other companies tend to focus on one thing, whether what’s being a wallet for high-net worth clients or being a merchant processor. But Coinbase’s strategy has been to create a self-reinforcing ecosystem between all three of its product lines.