Barclays Dropped UK Partnership with Coinbase

Sources reveal ClearBank will be the new payment provider for Coinbase UK, and the possible reason for removing ZCash (ZEC) for British buyers.

Barclays ended its partnership as banking provider for Coinbase UK, revealed sources close to the matter. Still-inconfirmed information holds that ClearBank will take over services for UK cryptocurrency buyers. The bank, an innovative institution with a bent toward fintech and disruption, will aim to bring faster payments.

Currently, UK buyers are deprived of a fast way to put funds into their Coinbase accounts. Waiting for days to buy an asset in a volatile market has angered traders in the past. ClearBank has set the goal of re-establishing the Faster Payment Service by the end of the third quarter.

Stricter regulations are turning the tides for crypto companies, and the looming Brexit may add a new burden on regulations and financial logistics. The shift to a new banking provider also cost UK buyers access to ZCash (ZEC), a crypto coin that uses a native protocol to obscure transactions. ZEC was added to Coinbase on December 5, 2018, and will still be available to US-based and EU-based traders.

Coinbase has set out on a global expansion, reaching new markets and adding new types of assets. But increased scrutiny on cryptocurrency service providers is making Coinbase extremely cautious.

The UK is one of the crypto asset hotspots, with multiple domestic products and a handful of exchanges. Yet strict regulations mean most exchanges have to be careful about providing services to UK traders. Recently, the UK advertising authority put up a complaint against a BitMex ad touting Bitcoin (BTC) trading. According to the UK Advertising Standards Authority, the BitMex ad failed to address the inherent volatility of digital assets.

The switch to a smaller bank resembles the trend for other crypto companies, which are often dropped by big service providers. In the past, Wells Fargo was known for dropping the business of Bitfinex, one of the more prominent crypto exchanges. In Europe, Bitpanda is one of the brokerages to receive a payment service provider license, thus handling payments directly.

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