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Coinbase granted e-money licence by UK’s financial regulator

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The largest US cryptocurrency exchange, Coinbase, has announced that has received an e-money licence from the UK’s financial watchdog.

The chief executive officer of Coinbase UK, Zeeshan Feroz said today in a blog post that the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) had granted Coinbase the licence, which would allow the company “to issue e-money and provide payment services in the UK”. The company further clarified that the licence covered fiat activities, rather than cryptocurrencies.

In addition, the licence will extend to 23 countries within the European Union. However, the UK’s upcoming exit from the union could force Coinbase to open a new office in the EU. Still, the UK remains an important market for the company, Feroz told Business Insider.

"The UK is a huge market for us, Brexit or no Brexit," Feroz said, as quoted by the publication. "We've got access to a type of talent pool you can't really get anywhere else besides the UK in Europe. We certainly intend to invest significantly in the UK office and the headquarters here. The roles we're hiring from range from engineering to compliance and everything in between."

Feroz also announced that Coinbase was to add support for the UK’s Faster Payments Scheme (FPS) which aims to provide more efficient domestic bank transfers. The company will start with a pilot giving a small number of institutional users access to Faster Payments, but it plans to launch a nationwide roll-out in the coming weeks.

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