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Coinbase Expands European Service to 5 More Markets

(@tanayamacheel) | Published on October 2, 2014 at 19:55 BST

Coinbase

Coinbase has expanded its European presence to an additional five countries following the launch of its services in the region early last month.

The move allows consumers in Denmark, Ireland, Poland, Sweden and Switzerland to buy and sell up to €500 in bitcoin through Coinbase.

The US-based bitcoin services provider initially rolled out services to Italy, Spain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria, Cyprus, Finland, Greece, Latvia, Malta, Portugal and Slovakia.

Coinbase has also increased the daily buy and sell limits to €2,000 for its users in France, Italy, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands and Finland.

Coinbase has emerged as a frontrunner in the US market for bitcoin service providers, with more than 1.6 million users subscribing to its wallet service and billion-dollar corporations like Overstock, Expedia and DISH integrating its merchant services.

By expanding into Europe, the company aims to underscore bitcoin’s cross-border payments potential and bring bitcoin buying capabilities to new markets.

Brokerage service competition

The news comes as a number of similar bitcoin brokerage services are seeking to serve the broader European market.

Last week, Coinify announced an undisclosed, multimillion-dollar investment from SEED Capital, which it told CoinDesk it intends to use to extend its processing services to merchants, as well as its buy and sell services to consumers.

Similarly, the UK- and Lithuania-based SpectroCoin recently launched its bitcoin merchant processing solution for the Europe, building on its existing brokerage services.

Speaking to CoinDesk, CEO Vytautas Karalevičius talked about the importance of economies of scale as one motivator for providing an all-encompassing bitcoin services solution – wallet, exchange and merchant services.

Merchant processing competition

Though Coinbase has not formally made the European market part of its merchant acquisition strategy, a number of startups are already establishing themselves in this area, meaning there could be competition should the company choose to do so.

A number of large European companies accept bitcoin through Paymium, a European startup that services roughly 600,000 users, offering a bitcoin exchange as well as bitcoin payment processing tools for merchants.

On Tuesday, French online fashion retailer Showroomprive began offering bitcoin payments to its customers, becoming Paymium’s largest merchant client and Europe’s largest bitcoin merchant.

Further, Coinbase's largest competitor in the North American merchant processing space, BitPay, is already making Europe a priority, allegedly adding 200 regional merchants to its service each week.

Images via Coinbase; Shutterstock

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