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International cryptocurrency exchange Yacuna has announced the launch of a new service that will enable UK customers to complete instant pound sterling (GBP) deposits to buy bitcoin, litecoin and dogecoin.

The news will likely come as a relief for UK exchange users who are currently largely limited to using slow Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) payments for deposits at most exchanges. This sometimes frustrating hurdle comes about due to the difficulty experienced by Britain's bitcoin companies in finding banks that will work with them.

London-based Yacuna, which launched in September of this year, described the new funding feature as an important step for its international expansion, one that will ease the purchasing ability of customers in its home market.

Yacuna executive director Mark Caruso further emphasized this point, stating:

"The UK is a vital market for every major bitcoin exchange."

'Lightning fast' payments

Instant processing for the new service will be handled by SOFORT Banking, another factor the company touted as a benefit of its service over the competition's.

"SOFORT Banking makes deposits lightning fast," said Yacuna VP of marketing and communications Mike Schnoor. "Therefore, we're using SOFORT Banking for high-speed transactions to ensure a customer finds the deposits as soon as possible in their Yacuna account."

He pointed out that the UK Faster Payments System, while free of charge, takes a few hours until money is moved.

"With SOFORT Banking, we are able to process deposits within seconds and it works the exact same way as a UK online wire transfer," explained Schnoor.

Withdrawals to bank accounts cost 3.00 GBP, while the fee for SOFORT deposits is 4.90%.

Yacuna said it plans to introduce more convenient deposit methods in the future, covering more markets and supporting more national currencies.

Last month, Yacuna launched a 'no-verification' bitcoin buying service designed specifically for new bitcoin buyers. Dubbed YacunaDirect, the user-friendly service is an attempt for the growing exchange to appeal to a wider, international audience.

Emphasizing the UK market

The announcement by Yacuna is notable given the number of more well-known bitcoin exchanges that have moved to serve the UK market in recent months.

For example, Kraken added GBP trading in late October, while its UK-based competitor Coinfloor has recently increased the number of currencies it accepts to include US dollars and euros in addition to GBP.

"Digital money is widely accepted among customers and the market coverage is constantly growing. We are happy to finally provide our UK customers with the easy and convenient access to instant bank deposits in GBP on our exchange. All you really need is your banking account," said Caruso.

Yacuna launched instant euro deposits in seven European countries earlier this month. That service is currently available to Yacuna users in Austria, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Poland and Switzerland.

British banks and bitcoin

To the consternation of the UK's bitcoin startups, British banks have been reluctant to deal with firms in the cryptocurrency space. Their cautious approach has caused a number of issues for UK-based bitcoin companies, as well as a number of companies based in British Crown Dependencies such as the Isle of Man.

However, earlier this month the UK Digital Currency Association (UKDCA) responded to a call for information on digital currency issued by the UK Treasury. In its filing, the association called on the Treasury to intervene on behalf of digital currency firms and make banks more willing to establish relationships with the cryptocurrency sector.

The UKDCA warned that failure to do so will result in capital flight, as digital currency businesses will simply set up shop somewhere else if British banks keep refusing to do business with them.

Pound coins image via Shutterstock

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