Crypto News | Coinbase-Barclays Partnership Announced

So far, Coinbase has been known as a major US cryptocurrency exchange which serves as a beginner-friendly gateway into the world of cryptocurrencies. However, recent news points towards a major shift in the company’s focus. It appears that Coinbase is looking to expand – and its first target is Europe. Last week, Coinbase announced that it had been granted an e-money license by the British Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), allowing the exchange to operate not only in the UK, but 23 other European countries, as well. The Coinbase-Barclays partnership, announced recently, is the latest development in this storyline. Over the years, banks have generally shown reluctance to work with cryptocurrency exchanges. Coinbase, however, is definitely one of the best known and most reputable exchanges out there. The new Coinbase-Barclays partnership should make transactions much easier and faster. Previously, users would have to wait for days before receiving their funds. Now that Coinbase is licensed to use the Faster Payments Scheme (FPS), Zeeshan Feroz, CEO of the company’s UK branch, was quoted as saying that “customers will benefit from faster, safer and seamless bank transfers”.

South Korean exchanges, however, were not given such an easy break by the authorities – or, rather, many of them were not quite as compliant. After an extensive investigation in January, three cryptocurrency exchanges in Seoul were raided by law enforcement officials, who confiscated hard drives, mobile phones, and financial records. The January investigation found that the three exchanges had been illegally transferring customers’ assets to the accounts of their own managers. Lead prosecutor Jeong Dae-jeong refused to name the three exchanges while the investigation is still ongoing.

In a similar vein, things are looking grim for miners in the state of New York. Several mining companies have set up operations in upstate New York due to affordable electricity. According to the New York State Public Service Commission, the increased demand has been driving electricity prices up across the board, meaning that regular customers and households now have to pay higher electricity bills. In turn, the Public Service Commission ruled that power companies should charge higher rates to cryptocurrency mining operations. One town in upstate New York, Plattsburgh, even banned new mining businesses temporarily. Still, the state is not trying to get rid of miners. The goal is to justify the very high consumption with economic benefits for the local community – which could lead to a lasting symbiosis, instead of one side benefiting from the infrastructure and cheap hydropower which was financed from the local taxpayers’ pockets.

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Author: Max Rothstein

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