US-based virtual currency startup Coinbase has launched its bitcoin exchange and wallet service in the UK.
The company, which scored a $75 million funding round in January, claims 2.7 million accounts and promises a one-stop shop for people and companies wishing to buy, sell and spend bitcoin.
For its first overseas venture, Coinbase says it was attracted by the positive regulatory environment in the UK and talks warmly of the support it received from the Financial Conduct Authority.
"I’d definitely say that regulation is more favorable in the UK right now,” Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong told TechCrunch. “I have to give a lot of credit to UK regulators. They’ve actually been very forward thinking about bitcoin.”
BTC/GBP and BTC/EUR currency pairs have been added to the Coinbase Exchange and the company has rolled out its bitcoin Wallet for UK users who want to buy and sell bitcoin with sterling.
Coinbase's record-breaking $75 million funding round included backing from prominent financial investors, including the New York Stock Exchange, USAA and BBVA. The company is using the cash to fund its expansion plans and has set its sights on opening in 40 international markets.