Gibraltar's Xapo Bank Enables GBP Payments, Prepares USDC Option Amid U.S. Crypto Banking Crisis

The retail-focused bank will be allowing users to make GBP payments directly to and from their U.K. accounts or wallets.

AccessTimeIconMar 14, 2023 at 4:46 p.m. UTC
Updated May 9, 2023 at 4:10 a.m. UTC

Gibraltar-based, crypto-friendly Xapo Bank enabled British pound (GBP) payments today and will enable USDC stablecoin services later this week, after a banking crisis shook the U.S. crypto sector.

"From today we have also added support for GBP through the Faster Payments network, meaning members will be able to make payments directly to U.K. wallets or banks," said Seamus Rocca, CEO of the retail-focused bank, in a statement to CoinDesk on Tuesday. Xapo also will activate USDC payments this week, enabling its users to send and receive the stablecoin directly to their Xapo bank accounts without any fees, Rocca said.

Binance, the world's largest crypto exchange by volume, said Monday it would be suspending its GBP deposit and withdrawal services for all users in May.

Amid the collapse of three of crypto's preferred banks in the U.S. within the last week, companies are scrambling for alternatives. Many of them are looking to offshore crypto-friendly banks like Xapo. "Xapo Bank took a business decision in 2019 to sell our Institutional Custody business and focus on retail, so we are not a B2B bank in the same way that Silvergate or Signature are," Rocca said.

Xapo, a licensed private bank and cryptocurrency custodian, has already integrated Bitcoin's Lightning Network. The Faster Payments system is run by Pay.UK, which is the "recognized operator and standards body for the UK’s retail interbank payment systems," according to its website.

CORRECTION (March 14, 2023 16:55 UTC): CoinDesk received the Xapo CEO's statement on Tuesday.

CORRECTION (March 14, 2023 17:25 UTC): Clarifies that USDC payments will be activated later this week.


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Eliza Gkritsi is CoinDesk's crypto mining reporter.

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