Barclays agrees to work with bitcoin exchange

Barclays agrees to work with bitcoin exchange

Barclays has become the first UK bank to accept a bitcoin exchange as a client.

Coinbase, a San Francisco-based bitcoin exchange has been granted permission to open a Barclays bank account.

Coinbase is one of the top 10 bitcoin exchanges in the world by volume.

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In a statement on its website the cryptocurrency company stated the UK is its fastest growing market in Europe.

A spokesman for Coinbase said access to a UK bank account came after it had spoken to many other banks and means clients will be able to more easily make deposits and withdrawals from their cryptocurrency account.

The agreement with Barclays comes at a time when cryptocurrency exchanges face increased regulatory scrutiny.

As FTAdviser previously reported, Bank of England governor Mark Carney said virtual currencies should face an enhanced level of scrutiny.

He said the currencies fail in all of the areas they are supposed to be disrupting the wider industry.

He said cryptocurrencies are not an effective means of exchange or store of value.

The Bank for International Settlements has previously stated that a huge proportion of the activity for which cryptocurrency is used are criminal enterprises.   

Barclays declined to comment.