Blockchain.com's New GBP Gateway Creates a Crypto-Hedge Against Brexit Uncertainty

Blockchain.com is adding a British pound gateway to its cryptocurrency exchange as it bets on more Brexit chaos.

AccessTimeIconDec 19, 2019 at 9:30 p.m. UTC
Updated Apr 10, 2024 at 2:24 a.m. UTC
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global hub for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now

Blockchain.com is adding a British pound (GBP) gateway to its cryptocurrency exchange, The PIT, as it prepares for Britain’s coming separation from the European Union, or Brexit.

Announced Thursday in a press release, the addition will utilize Britain's Faster Payments Service (FPS) to let Blockchain.com’s U.K.-based users buy cryptocurrencies almost instantly.

  • Bitcoin Transaction Fees Slide Significantly Post Halving
    00:55
    Bitcoin Transaction Fees Slide Significantly Post Halving
  • 21Shares Exec on Consumer Facing Applications Powered by Blockchain
    00:51
    21Shares Exec on Consumer Facing Applications Powered by Blockchain
  • 21Shares Exec on Aftermath of the Halving, Future of Bitcoin Network
    15:24
    21Shares Exec on Aftermath of the Halving, Future of Bitcoin Network
  • World Chain Is a Blockchain 'Designed for Humans': Tools for Humanity Exec
    00:31
    World Chain Is a Blockchain 'Designed for Humans': Tools for Humanity Exec
  • The company framed its dual announcement as a bet on Britain at a tenuous time. With Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s recent landslide victory all but ensuring Brexit by Jan. 31, the nation is streaming towards an uncertain future. 

    That uncertainty, Blockchain.com said in the release, coincides with a surge in British interest in its site.

    "As the country we've called home for almost a decade undergoes considerable changes, it's imperative for us to provide the British people – our friends and families, co-workers and countrymen – new options to insulate their financial futures from the political scuffles that have destabilized the country's economy,” Peter Smith, co-founder and CEO, said in a statement.

    Faster payments

    Blockchain.com Executive Vice President of Product Xen Baynham-Herd did not provide details around FPS, a U.K. banking initiative that drastically reduced settlement times between member banks. Asked which bank Blockchain.com was utilizing, he declined to answer. 

    “We partner with multiple banks, but cannot disclose which,” he told CoinDesk.

    Other cryptocurrency exchanges with UK customers have also turned to FPS over recent years. But those partnerships between traditional banks and sometimes global exchanges have had mixed success.

    In 2015, Swedish crypto exchange Safello lost its FPS access after an undisclosed partner bank severed ties – just six weeks after the service launched. Safello was unable to set up ties with other banks. 

    More recently, Coinbase, one of only four exchanges who now have FPS access, temporarily disabled FPS service. Its institutional banking partner, Barclays, had pulled the plug too. (Coinbase now banks with the U.K.'s ClearBank).

    Though it is not clear which banks Blockchain.com has partnered with, Baynham-Herd said the FPS service is already gaining traction among sterling-centric users. 

    “We’re already seeing GBP deposits come through and clear in minutes via FPS,” he said.

    Disclosure

    Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

    CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.


    Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk's longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to consensus.coindesk.com to register and buy your pass now.